SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former Theranos govt Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani returned to federal courtroom Friday in a last-ditch try to remain out of jail whereas interesting a jury’s verdict convicting him of orchestrating a blood-testing hoax together with his former boss and lover, Elizabeth Holmes.
Moreover overseeing arguments about Balwani’s try to delay the beginning of his nearly 13-year prison sentence, U.S. District Choose Edward Davila additionally heard a vigorous debate about how a lot cash Balwani ought to pay buyers and sufferers duped by the Theranos blood assessments that by no means labored as promised. The deceit resulted in Balwani’s conviction on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Davila did not situation any rulings on the finish of the 90-minute listening to. His choice on whether or not Balwani can stay free on bail whereas he appeals his conviction, nonetheless, is prone to come quickly. That is as a result of Balwani, 57, is scheduled to report back to jail in Lompoc, California, on March 15.
The decide mentioned he does not count on to determine on the query of how a lot Balwani ought to pay in restitution till one other listening to on the identical points is held for Holmes, Theranos’ disgraced CEO, on March 17.
Holmes, 38, is also looking for to stay free on bail whereas she appeals her conviction on four counts of fraud and conspiracy. She is scheduled to report back to a jail in Bryon, Texas, on April 27 to start a sentence of greater than 11 years.
In Friday’s listening to, certainly one of Balwani’s legal professionals sought to deflect the blame for Theranos’ eventual collapse to Holmes. In her presentation, Amy Walsh asserted Theranos nonetheless had $350 million in money and mental property price about $100 million in Could 2016 when Holmes fired Balwani as the corporate’s chief working officer and ended their romantic relationship.
“When he walked out the door, the corporate was extraordinarily helpful,” Walsh mentioned in Balwani’s protection.
Davila appeared skeptical of that rationale, asking Walsh: “Are you saying his conduct was utterly divorced from Theranos’ demise?”
Federal prosecutors are looking for a courtroom order that might saddle Balwani with a restitution invoice of practically $900 million — a determine that might doubtless be largely symbolic. It will even be far bigger that than the $120 million loss estimate that Davila utilized in calculating Balwani’s jail sentence.
Prosecutor Robert Leach brazenly scoffed at Walsh’s rivalry that Balwani ought to owe nothing, calling it a “exceptional place.”
The 2 sides additionally painted radically completely different photos of their arguments about whether or not Balwani needs to be allowed to stay free throughout his enchantment.
Balwani legal professional Mark Davies alleged that authorities misconduct within the presentation of proof throughout Balwani’s trial makes it doubtless he’ll prevail within the enchantment of his convictions. However federal prosecutor Kelly Volkar repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Davies additionally harassed Balwani’s compliance with all bail necessities since he was indicted in 2018 as proof that he is not a flight danger. The lawyer additionally pointed to Balwani’s non-violent historical past and previous charity work in India as proof he poses no hazard to the neighborhood.
Volkar instructed Balwani might have extra incentive to flee together with his prolonged jail sentence now lower than a month away and argued he stays a possible menace.
“Harm can come within the type of financial harms as a lot as it will probably come within the type of violent hurt,” Volkar mentioned.