Former Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Elizabeth Holmes jury that 'there came a point when I didn't know what to believe'
Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2017. Associated Press / Jacquelyn Martin
James Mattis took a position on Wednesday in the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
He said he invested $ 85,000 in Theranos and shared details about his military pilot project.
The former defense minister also said Holmes was his "only" source of information about Theranos.
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Former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced how much he has invested in the now-defunct blood test startup Theranos.
Mattis appeared on Wednesday in a fraud case against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, testifying that he had invested nearly $ 85,000 in the company, an amount that according to a report in the Wall Street Journal would be for someone who has been around for 40 years had worked in government was significant.
Mattis also remembered the moment when Holmes asked him to join Theranos' board of directors. "I warned her that I was not a medical person," he said, noting that Holmes said she appreciated a variety of backgrounds among the board members.
Mattis eventually joined the board after retiring from active service in 2013. He said he was given $ 150,000 a year to serve on the board. He testified that he had invested and joined the board to "have a hand in the game".
The retired four-star general also said Holmes was his "only" source of information about the company. Several emails between Mattis and Holmes were shown as evidence during his testimony. They showed the two of them discussing plans to test Theranos' technology for possible use in the military.
In an email in late 2011, Mattis told Holmes, "I'm trying to find a way to use your device in a quick 'pilot' or 'proof of principle' to expedite its entry into our armed forces."
Holmes later replied, “It is up to us to move forward to get a pilot.
Mattis went on to say that when he joined the board, he was unaware that some of Theranos' tests were being run on third-party computers rather than the company's Edison computers. After the Wall Street Journal published a bomb investigation into the limits of the Theranos test, Mattis began to wonder "whether Edison was working or not".
"There came a point where I no longer knew what to believe about Theranos," he testified, according to the Journal. "When I look back now, I'm disappointed with the level of transparency ... I couldn't understand why we were surprised by such fundamental problems."
Mattis is one of more than 200 people listed as potential witnesses at the trial.
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In this article:
American businessman; Subject of an SEC investigation
Secretary of Defense
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