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Elizabeth Holmes' ex, Ramesh Balwani, pointed the finger back at her in his fraud trial, while prosecutors say they were 'partners in everything, including their crimes'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/22/2022 sjackson@insider.com (Sarah Jackson)
Elizabeth Holmes et al. wearing a suit and tie: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images (Holmes). Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (Balwani). © Provided by Business Insider Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images (Holmes). Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (Balwani).
  • Elizabeth Holmes blamed her ex-business partner, Sunny" Balwani, in her fraud trial. Now, he's doing the same to her.
  • In Tuesday's opening statements, Balwani's attorneys emphasized, "Elizabeth Holmes, not Sunny, founded Theranos and built Theranos."
  • The prosecution, meanwhile, argued the two were "partners in everything, including their crimes."

Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial may be over, but it looks like the Theranos founder is a focal point in another trial now underway.

Opening statements took place Tuesday in the fraud trial of Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who is Holmes' ex-boyfriend and Theranos' former president and COO.

Balwani's team pointed the finger at Holmes in their opening statement, just as Holmes deflected blame to Balwani and other Theranos employees in her trial.

"Elizabeth Holmes, not Sunny, founded Theranos and built Theranos," said Balwani's attorney, Steve Cazares, according to The Mercury News.


Video: Theranos Trial: Opening Statements In Case Against Of Elizabeth Holmes' Partner Sunny Balwani (CBS SF Bay Area)

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"Sunny Balwani did not start Theranos," he added, according to The New York Times. "He did not control Theranos."

For their part, the prosecution also touched on Holmes' conviction to lay the groundwork for their case.

"They were partners in everything, including their crimes," said Assistant US Attorney Robert Leach, according to the Mercury News. "The defendant and Holmes knew the rosy falsehoods that they were telling investors were contrary to the reality within Theranos."

The first witness of the trial also took the stand before court wrapped for the day. Theranos whistleblower Erika Cheung, a former lab worker at the company, began her testimony.

Cheung was also an early witness in Holmes' trial, where she testified Theranos machines frequently failed quality-control tests, so staffers had to cherry-pick data to remove outliers so they'd ultimately pass.

Cheung said in Holmes' trial that she raised concerns about Theranos with Balwani, who she says told her, "What makes you think you're qualified to make these calls?"

Balwani faces the same charges brought against Holmes — 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Holmes' trial concluded in January, when she was convicted on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

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