For many, a decade or so ago, Elizabeth Holmes was the founder of high-flying blood-testing startup Theranos. For Daniel Adeline, she was the sister of his Duke University college friend, Christian.

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Adeline met Holmes through Christian and later joined Holmes’ brother working for Theranos in September 2011 as a senior product manager. He was assigned key tasks including organizing the company’s important Walgreens partnerships, organizing visits to its headquarters for investors, board members, business partners. and other VIP guests, and working with military officials about possible uses of its technology.

Now, Adeline is testifying in the criminal case against Holmes that she intentionally misled patients, doctors and investors with claims that her startup’s technology was used to treat a range of conditions by using a few drops of blood taken by finger sticks. Can test reliably and accurately. (Holmes has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison.)

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Adeline, who was first called as a witness for the government on Friday and began testifying again on Tuesday, said she was asked several times by Holmes to make changes before her visit to Theranos headquarters, including This included hiding certain areas of its research and development laboratory from important visitors. . He said the partition was sometimes used to hide areas where Theranos’ equipment was located.

On one occasion in 2013, Adeline said she helped demonstrate about 10 to 15 Theranos MiniLab devices, one of its blood analyzer machines, in a room adjacent to the clinical lab before the tour. The performance was dropped soon after the tour ended. He testified that he learned in 2016 that the MiniLab device had never been used to test a patient’s blood. (Adeline also said she did not remember ever visiting the clinical lab where the patient samples were tested.)

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As the Wall Street Journal would reveal in a series of reports beginning in October 2015, claims about Theranos’ technical capabilities were greatly exaggerated. The company relied on third-party-manufactured blood testing equipment rather than its own equipment, which was only being used on a fraction of the tests, with questions about their accuracy and reliability. Adeline’s testimony suggests that the company may have tried to give high-profile visitors a very different impression.

Adeline was also involved in the company’s communications with the US Department of Defense – a relationship that prosecutors saw as one of the ways in which Holmes allegedly misled investors and business partners. Former Walgreens and Safeway executives testified that they were told Theranos was working with the Defense Department and that its equipment was in use in medical evacuation units. But former Defense Secretary and Theranos board member James Mattis testified that he was unaware that its equipment had ever been deployed in this way.

In Tuesday’s testimony, Adeline said she worked directly with Holmes to support relationships with the military and the Department of Defense. He added that the “ultimate goal” for these discussions was to launch a research program that would compare testing of Theranos with tests available to the military at the time. Adeline testified that Holmes was “highly involved” with these communications.

“I would say that any important communications I had with the military, I either discussed with him ahead of time … or email drafts were reviewed and approved before sending them back,” he said.

Adeline testified that discussions of the research program lasted “months, if not years,” and that Theranos sent three devices to a warehouse in Kentucky for military use for evaluation purposes. “I remember that the equipment was sent, received, but then no additional action was taken,” Adeline testified.

Adeline testified that, to her knowledge, Theranos devices had never been used in a war zone and were not sent to the Middle East for research or clinical use.

(Wade Miquelon, former Walgreens CFO, testified earlier that he recalled that the company’s technology was being used in military evacuation helicopters in Afghanistan.)

On Friday, Adeline said she was initially excited to join Theranos. He and several other friends of Duke attended a group interview before being offered the job, and he stayed at the company for more than five years. He left the company in December 2016, more than a year after the Journal began publishing stories raising concerns about the company’s technology.

Adeline testified that he had left Theranos partly because he “did not believe based on what I was seeing now that the company was able to stand behind the claims it made about its technology.”

Adeline, who briefly reported to Holmes, also shed light on what it was like to work for him and Theranos. He said that information inside the company had been silenced and that he was instructed by Christian, Holmes and former COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani not to share details about the work being done outside the team as it was being taken care of. was considered confidential. (Balwani is facing the same charges as Holmes, has pleaded not guilty and is set to stand trial in early 2022.)

Adeline also testified that Holmes “was in office all the time, in fact. From early morning until late evening.”

Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey, who began cross-examining Adeline before retiring Tuesday and is expected to continue his interrogation of the former employee for much of the day on Wednesday, established that inside the company The restricted flow of communication was sometimes associated with “protection”. Theranos’ trade secrets.”

A recurring theme in the trial so far has been the nature of the relationship between Holmes and Balwani, who were romantically involved. Earlier in the trial, unsealed court documents revealed that Holmes’s lawyers may try to defend Balwani by pointing a finger at him. Documents reveal that Holmes may claim that she experienced psychological, emotional and sexual abuse by Balwani, which ultimately did not keep her – Holmes in control.

Prosecutors were investigating Adeline, who said he knew the two were dating and living together for information about the power dynamic between the two.

Regarding who was in charge of Theranos, Adeline said that she said Balvani would defer to Holmes on certain things. “Generally speaking, Elizabeth was the CEO and had the authority to make the final decision,” he testified.

Asked if Adeline ever saw Balvani overrule Holmes’s decision in Theranos, Adeline testified: “I can’t remember a specific moment.”

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