The jury weighing fraud charges against former entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes is unable to reach a unanimous verdict on three of the 11 criminal counts she faces, according to a note from the panel read aloud in court.
After conferring with lawyers for the defense and prosecution, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sent for the jury in order to give what is called an “Allen charge,” essentially an appeal from a judge to encourage a jury to deliberate further.
Once the jury returned, Davila instructed its members to do their best to reach a verdict, noting that they should re-examine their own views and change their opinions if persuaded it is wrong. He also reminded them that charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jurors then returned to their deliberations.
Holmes, 37, is facing 11 criminal charges alleging that she duped investors and patients by hailing her company’s blood-testing technology as a medical breakthrough when in fact it was prone to wild errors. She could face up to 20 years in prison if she is found guilty.
Before those problems were exposed in 2015 and 2016 by stories in The Wall Street Journal and a regulatory audit, Holmes briefly realized her aspirations for fame and fortune while raising more than $900 million from a list of renowned investors that included media mogul Rupert Murdoch, software mogul Larry Ellison and the Walton family behind Walmart.
At Theranos’ height, Holmes had amassed a fortune of $4.5 billion on paper and was being lionized as a visionary on cover stories in business magazines.