RAMESH "Sunny" Balwani is the former boyfriend of Elizabeth Holmes, the former chief of the blood-testing startup Theranos, Inc.
In 2018, Balwani was charged alongside Holmes for alleged fraud and conspiracy for tricking investors and doctors to help fund the company, and allegedly providing false medical results to patients.
Who is Elizabeth Holmes' ex-boyfriend Sunny Balwani?
Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, 56, is an American businessman and the ex-president and chief operating officer of Theranos, a health technology company founded by his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes.
Balwani was born in 1965 in Pakistan to a Sindhi Hindu family who emigrated to the United States.
He studied information systems at the University of Texas at Austin.
What happened between Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani?
While at Berkeley, Balwani, who was 37 at the time, met Holmes, then 18 when she was a senior year in high school.
They reportedly started a romantic relationship after Holmes dropped out of Stanford University in March 2004 to start Theranos when she was 19 years old.
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Balwani joined the company in 2009 and quickly rose up the ranks from vice president to chief operating officer.
It is believed he split from Theranos in 2016 when he left the company.
During Holmes’ trial, her lawyers argued that her ex-boyfriend and business partner sexually abused and emotionally controlled her at the time of the alleged crimes, impairing her mental state.
Balwani has strongly denied allegations of abuse in a 2019 court filing and has called the claims "outrageous."
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Is Sunny Balwani on trial?
Balwani, who was also the company’s president, is scheduled to be tried on fraud charges related to Theranos when Holmes' trial ends.
He has pleaded not guilty to nine charges of fraud and two counts of conspiracy fraud.
The accusations come after Theranos claimed it had invented the revolutionary machine that could conduct hundreds of laboratory tests from a single finger-prick of blood.
However, patients and doctors claim the results were false, leading to misdiagnosis.
Balwani's trial is expected to start on February 15, 2022.
Is Elizabeth Holmes on trial?
Since August 2021, Holmes has stood trial on 11 federal charges related to the allegations.
On January 3, 2022, she was then found guilty of four counts of fraud and conspiracy and not guilty of four other felony charges while a jury continues to deliberate on the remaining three charges of wire fraud.
A document issued by the United States Department of Justice said Holmes and Balwani "claimed that Theranos developed a revolutionary and proprietary analyzer …" and "claimed the analyzer was able to perform a full range of clinical tests using small blood samples drawn from a finger stick."
The document claimed both Holmes and Balwani knew the Theranos analyzer was producing false results, adding, "The defendants also represented that the analyzer could produce results that were more accurate and reliable than those yielded by conventional methods – all at a faster speed than previously possible."
If convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison per charge, $250,000 in fines per charge, and restitution.
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