Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, May 9), biotechnology company Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes went on trial in Newark federal court for securities fraud. Holmes is accused of intentionally concealing fundamental facts about Theranos’ technology, and concealing from auditors and the company’s shareholders the number of devices that could perform various tests.
Former secretary of defense James Mattis was one of the nearly 100 people who signed an open letter written by then Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes (and claimed signed by over 400 scientists and medical professionals) demanding that Congress suspend regulatory oversight and declare Theranos a “medical marijuana provider”.
Among those along with Mattis who signed the letter were retired Gen Stanley McChrystal, retired Gen John Allen, and the high profile legal reform organizations Public Citizen and the Brennan Center for Justice.
According to the petition, “Rather than attempting to bring tougher oversight and regulation to the blood testing field, Congress has authorized our government to hand the work over to a medical marijuana provider.”
Congress, however, never officially authorized the federal government to regulate blood testing. Theranos claims it is being singled out for illegal regulation.
The Theranos fraud trial continues today with opening statements.