A jury’s decision to convict disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for defrauding investors depended on two pieces of evidence identified in the case as “smoking weapons,” a juror said.
Susanna Stefanek, also known as the No. 8 juror, told the Wall Street Journal that key documents related to Holmes’ case had proven to be devastating.
The first evidence was a document that falsely made it appear that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had officially endorsed Theranos’ technology.
The second piece of evidence was a document Theranos made available to investors in 2015, which said it was expected to generate $ 40 million in revenue from doing business with pharmaceutical companies. However, prosecutors argued that such contracts did not exist.
“There were just so many untruths on this piece of paper,” Stefanek told the journal.
Holmes, 37, was found guilty of three wire transfer fraud cases and one of conspiracy to commit fraud earlier this week. The judges concluded that Holmes was deliberately misleading investors about the doomed medical technology startup’s blood testing machine and Theranos company’s financial health.
The key documents were critical to the prosecution’s trial against Holmes.
Prosecutors argued that Theranos had given investors a fake report – adorned with the Pfizer logo – claiming the pharmaceutical company had validated the company’s technology. However, a Pfizer scientist testified that the logo was used without the company’s permission, telling judges the company had come to the “opposite” conclusion about the machine’s effectiveness.
Holmes later admitted that she added the Pfizer logo, which some investors said convinced them to support Theranos.
“I wish I had done it differently,” said Holmes.
During the trial, when Holmes pushed over the 2015 document, which had projected sales of $ 40 million from pharmaceutical company contracts, he confirmed that Theranos had no revenue from pharmaceutical companies at the time.
Stefanek, identified as an Apple employee, said the documents were a step too far compared to the exaggerations often made by Silicon Valley startups.
“When it came to providing these completely wrong specie numbers, I had to say no,” Stefanek told the journal.
Holmes has been acquitted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy for alleged fraud against patients. The jury was unable to reach a decision on three other fraud allegations.
Earlier this week, another juror, Wayne Kaatz, told ABC News that the jury was skeptical of Holmes ‘testimony. The jury developed a scale of 1 to 4 to rate witnesses’ credibility, with 1 being the least credible. Holmes received a 2.