Theranos former president and CEO Ramesh Sunny Balwani went on trial this week for his alleged role in the Theranos fraud case.
The company’s founder and his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, blamed him for the company’s troubles-for which she was convicted of three counts of wire fraud.
During opening arguments, Balwani’s attorneys pointed the finger back at him, reported Business Insider.
“Elizabeth Holmes, not Sunny, founded Theranos and built Theranos,” said Balwani’s attorney, Steve Cazares.
Prosecutors, however, countered that the two were one and the same when it came to the company.
“They were partners in everything, including their crimes,” said Assistant US Attorney Robert Leach. “The defendant and Holmes knew the rosy falsehoods that they were telling investors were contrary to the reality within Theranos.”
Cazares said Balwani and Holmes became romantically involved at about the same time Holmes founded the company in 2003, but he said Balwani didn’t work for the company until six years later when he put up $10 million of his own money, the Guardian reported.
“Sunny believed in Theranos, its technology, and its mission,” said Cazares, a former federal prosecutor.
The government alleges both Holmes and Balwani intentionally mislead investors and the public about the abilities of their blood-testing equipment.
Balwani has been accused by Holmes of emotional and physical abuse, according to ABC News. Balwani firmly denied the allegations and his attorneys urged the jurors to ignore anything they may have read, including the headlines.
The trial is expected to last three months.
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