ELIZABETH Holmes “cosplayers” were spotted outside on the first day of the Theranos founder’s trial dressed in her trademark black turtleneck.
Holmes — a 37-year-old disgraced businesswoman who was once dubbed the richest self-made woman — arrived in federal court on Wednesday, September 8, for opening arguments in her trial.
Stanford dropout Holmes stands trial accused of tricking investors into funding her company Theranos Inc, which prosecutors say was a fraudulent operation.
Before Holmes’ trial, which had been delayed twice after she was first indicted approximately three years ago, got underway Wednesday, the media and general public began lining up outside the courthouse in San Jose, California, before 5am.
Hours later, when Holmes arrived in court, three Holmes lookalikes were seen in line outside the courthouse.
Law 360 reporter Dorothy Atkins took to Twitter Wednesday morning to share a photo of the three women, which she said were self-described “fans” of the former Theranos CEO.
“There are three women in front of me in line with blonde hair wearing black business suits,” Atkins tweeted. “When asked why they’re here, one replied ‘we’re fans,’ and they declined to comment further.”
Shortly after, Atkins noted that all of Holmes’ defense attorneys arrived but Holmes was nowhere to be found, “aside from the three look-alikes in front of me.”
Minutes later she tweeted a photo of the three women and wrote: “Elizabeth Holmes has arrived at the courthouse and is surrounded by cameras.
“Three of her fans try to catch a glimpse without losing their spot in line.”
The photo prompted Twitter users to comment on the unexpected Holmes “cosplayers.”
One person tweeted: “add “elizabeth holmes cosplay” to the list of things i never thought i’d see.”
Another said: “If the Elizabeth Holmes cosplayers don’t get a Netflix series by the end of the week then what even is the point of all this.”
A third tweet read: “There are… Elizabeth Holmes cosplayers at her trial?”
Holmes, who recently gave birth to her first child, faces 20 years in prison after she was charged with federal fraud and conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are expected to spend the next three months proving their cases to a 12-person jury.
Once the trial got underway, federal prosecutor Robert Leach gave a roughly 45-minute opening statement and slammed Holmes as a conniving entrepreneur who tricked investors, customers, and patients for years, the Associated Press reports.
Leach said a former top finance officer at Theranos will testify that the company only had $650,000 in revenue from 2011 through 2014.
However, Holmes had told investors that Theranos would generate $140 million in revenue in 2014, Leach said.
“The fraud committed by Holmes is a fraud on Main Street and it’s a fraud in Silicon Valley,” he told the jury.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Lance Wade, argued in his roughly 90-minute presentation that Holmes “did her best day in and day out to make Theranos successful.”
Wade told the jury: “Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest is not a crime. A failed business does not make a CEO a criminal.”
Court documents, which were unsealed shortly before the start of the trial,
Holmes’ lawyers revealed she would possibly take the witness stand to argue that some of her statements and actions while argue running Theranos stemmed from intimate partner abuse from her ex-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former Theranos COO, AP News reports.
Balwani and Holmes are charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy, and both have pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, as Holmes stands trial for fraud, she has reportedly been living on the grounds of a plush $135 million Silicon Valley estate.
Holmes is reportedly staying on Green Gables, one of America’s richest estates, which is located roughly 40 minutes from the courthouse where Holmes is currently standing trial.
She also recently got married in a secret wedding ceremony to her husband William “Billy” Evans.
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