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Theranos Trial: Investor Takes Stand, Faces Combative Cross Examination From Elizabeth Holmes' Defense Team

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – A Theranos investor took the stand in Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial on Monday, and his combative cross-examination of could have scored points for Holmes' defense team.

Alan Eisenman of Houston, Texas passed up opportunities to sell his shares of Theranos stock for profits of more than $30 million. Despite his later suspicions that all was not well with the company, he still invested $100,000 more.

"This investor, greed got the better of him.  It helps the defendant in a sense that it's clearly obvious that this witness is interested and wants revenge," said Michele Hagan, a former prosecutor and Legal Analyst.

Alan Eisenman - Theranos Trial
Theranos investor Alan Eisenman (left) appears outside court in the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, November 15, 2021. (CBS)

Eisenman testified for the prosecution that he was lied to and taken advantage of by Holmes and her business partner Sunny Balwani.

But defense lawyer Kevin Downey had trouble getting direct answers--especially on the subject of whether Eisenman accepted the risks of investing in a startup.

The two spoke over each other several times and the judge called for a "reset."

"It works by question and answer" the judge told Eisenman.

Downey finished by showing the jury an email Eisenman sent to an FBI investigator in 2018 telling the agent: "You know I am a faithful member of your team and I will do all I can to help your case."

Pressed on that, Eisenman said, "I have no bias in this case."

"This is the smoking gun for the defense. If they have a witness who outright admits that he'll do basically whatever he can to help the prosecution. Yes, it very much impeaches his credibility," Hagan said.

Eisenman's handwritten notes of conversations he had with Elizabeth Holmes have been subpoenaed and are being examined by the lawyers, with the defense team looking for any inconsistencies between the notes and his testimony.

The trial resumes on Tuesday.


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