Perhaps in doing her best to change her legal defense into some sort of comedy act, “America’s sweetheart” Elizabeth Holmes argued in court this week that she didn’t want U.S. prosecutors to vilify her “luxuriously lifestyle” during her fraud trial.
The request is ironic, as Holmes became a “self-made billionaire” through the fraud she was perpetrating at Theranos to begin with.
It’s the latest in a long line of scapegoats that Holmes has used to pin blame for her company’s implosion on. She had previously blamed journalists and had claimed that she was the victim of a “mental disease or defect”, according to Bloomberg.
The request came amidst a “flurry of evidence objections” from her lawyers, as they seek to try and rule out certain pathways of the prosecution’s case before her trial starts in March.
Her lawyers argued: “That Ms. Holmes enjoyed a certain lifestyle — one that is commensurate with the lifestyle of many other CEOs — says nothing about whether Ms. Holmes committed fraud to obtain or maintain that lifestyle.”
It’s a stunning objection especially considering the massive rise and fall of Holmes’ personal net worth as a result of Theranos’ valuation expanding, before imploding.
It’s a direct rebuke to prosecutors, who are going to argue that Holmes’ travel, accommodations, assistants and “association with celebrities, dignitaries and other wealthy and powerful people” acted as an incentive for her to continue to commit financial fraud.
We noted in September that the former Theranos Inc. Chief Executive had been ordered by a federal judge to undergo examination from U.S. government experts after her lawyers have suggested they could offer up evidence that shows she suffered from a “metal disease or defect”.
The order came after Holmes’ lawyers suggested they were going to introduce evidence from Mindy Mechanic, a California State University at Fullerton professor specializing in psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization. The defense said the evidence would be “relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on the issue of guilt.”
We can’t wait to see what turn this case takes next…