Would you rather be a failure or a fraud? Judging by the opening statements in Elizabeth Holmes’ wire fraud trial, those seem to be Holmes’ options.
Here’s Robert Leach, assistant U.S. attorney, who is prosecuting the case against Holmes: “This is a case about fraud, about lying and cheating to get money,” Leach says. “That’s a crime on Main Street and a crime in Silicon Valley.” But according to Lance Wade, Holmes’ attorney, Holmes is just another failed startup leader: “In the end, Theranos failed. And Ms. Holmes walked away with nothing. But failure is not a crime.”
Now, by the time the first day of the trial ended, the first witness had only just been introduced. There are plenty more witnesses and apparently just a whole fuckload of documents ahead of us. But my impression is that the prosecution is going to have an uphill battle to show Holmes’ intent to deceive, a crucial part of the case.