Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the now-defunct blood-testing company, Theranos, Inc., and former top executive Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, failed at their most recent attempt to dismiss fraud charges against their allegedly bogus startup, according to reports. Holmes is set to go to trial in March on charges that she and Balwani swindled investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and misled patients about the reliability of their tests, the Wall Street Journal reported.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila on Tuesday denied the motions filed by the 36-year-old, who was once hailed as the youngest female billionaire, and the company's former president, to toss an array of charges that accused their company of engaging in fraud while running Theranos, Bloomberg reported.
Davila took the side of prosecutors, who, the couple argued, had taken too long to file the charges and that some of the alleged conduct was stale, the Journal reported. The judge did, however, reiterate his earlier ruling that physicians aren't victims of the alleged fraud. Davila said he will hold the government to their promise to not argue at trial that Holmes and Balwani should be convicted of wire fraud based on a scheme to defraud doctors, the outlet wrote.
This decision clears the path for the criminal trial against Holmes to begin March 9, the Journal reported. The trial had originally been set for October but was postponed due to the pandemic, according to the New York Post. Davila said the pandemic "continues to pose a significant hurdle to conducting a jury trial -- especially for a case of this complexity."
Both Holmes and Balwani have pleaded not guilty to charges that they administered faulty blood tests with devices that were knowingly unreliable and inaccurate while promoting them as "revolutionary," the Post reported.
Balwani is expected to face a separate trial that will begin at a later date, according to the Journal.
A lawyer for Balwani, Jeffrey Coopersmith, denied to comment. A lawyer for Holmes, Lance Wade, did not respond for comment.