Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, arrives for motion hearing on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the U.S. District Court House inside Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California.
Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images
She was a billionaire CEO whose luxurious lifestyle rivaled that of any movie star.
Elizabeth Holmes employed personal assistants to run her luxury shopping sprees, traveled by private jet, stayed at exclusive hotels and drove an expensive SUV.
As the CEO of Theranos, she was constantly in the limelight. Now facing a slew of fraud charges and prison, her defense attorneys don’t want her wealthy past to be played out in the courtroom – saying it’ll prejudice a jury.
“The amount of money Ms. Holmes earned in her position at Theranos, how she chose to spend that money, and the identities of people with whom she associated simply have no relevance to Ms. Holmes’ guilt or innocence,” her attorneys wrote in a motion filed late Friday night.
Prior to her downfall, Holmes was once named the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn startups — privately valued at $9 billion.
The government alleges that Holmes “had her Theranos-paid assistants run personal errands, perform personal tasks, and purchase luxury goods,” according to the filing.
In the motion, defense attorneys claim that the prosecutors’ motive argument is based on the assumption that Holmes’ luxurious lifestyle may have motivated her to “commit fraud to acquire or maintain that lifestyle.”