Mr. Balwani “has poured his heart and soul into Theranos,” Mr. Coopersmith said in his closing argument. “He worked tirelessly, year after year, to make the business a success. »
Mr. Balwani had two major strikes against him in his defense, said Michael Weinstein, a former Justice Department prosecutor who is chairman of white-collar litigation at Cole Schotz. One was Mr Balwani’s age, which prevented him from credibly invoking youthful naivety as a defence, as Ms Holmes had done.
“Holmes might seem a little naive, and they tried to sell that,” Mr. Weinstein said. But Mr. Balwani “has proven to be more of an experienced tech executive.”
Moreover, since Mr. Balwani was tried after Ms. Holmes, prosecutors have essentially gotten an overhaul and refined their case. “The streamlined presentation, the streamlined evidence, the streamlined narrative – it all ended up being good for the government,” he said.
Trial evidence, including text messages, emails and testimony from 24 witnesses, showed that Mr. Balwani had been deeply involved in almost every aspect of Theranos’ business and aware of its problems. He ran his lab, created his financial projections, chaired personnel matters and attended numerous introductory meetings with investors.
“Mr. Balwani wants you to think he’s a victim,” said Jeffrey Schenk, assistant U.S. attorney and lead prosecutor in the case, in his closing argument. “Mr. Balwani is not the victim, he is the author of the fraud.