Mattis Testifies That He Was Misled by Theranos Founder About Company's Technology
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was reportedly misled by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes about the company’s technology.
According to The Wall Street Journal, during his testimony on Thursday in Holmes’ criminal trial, Mattis said “he and other board members were blindsided to learn in 2015 that the company hadn’t been conducting all of its blood tests using its proprietary technology.”
He explained, “There just came a point where I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos anymore.”
Mattis said during his testimony he invested $85,000 of his money in the company and pushed for Theranos devices to be used by the U.S. military in the battlefield, as the Journal reports.
The outlet noted prosecutors presented his testimony to back their allegations that Holmes lied about having a relationship that was profitable with the Department of Defense.
In the summer of 2013, Mattis joined the company’s board. After being shown a Theranos device, Mattis said he “did not want to miss an opportunity.”
He resigned in 2016 and proceeded to join former President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Pentagon spokesperson Dave Eastburn told CNN Business in 2018, “Secretary Mattis was struck by the promise of technology and was looking for any technology solution to save lives on the battlefield.”
Both Holmes and her second-in-command, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, face 12 charges for allegedly deceiving investors, doctors and patients from 2010 to 2016, according to Forbes.
If they are found guilty, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years behind bars along with a $250,000 fine. They have pleaded not guilty.
The outlet reported that Holmes’ trial is expected to go on from three to four months. Potential prosecution witnesses include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a board member for Theranos, and Rupert Murdoch, an investor in the company.
The trial for Balwani will begin in January of 2022.
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