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Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2017. Associated press / Jacquelyn Martin

  • James Mattis testified 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 secretary also said Holmes was his “only” source of information on Theranos.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has revealed how much he invested in late blood testing startup Theranos.

Mattis testified Wednesday in the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, testifying that he had invested nearly $ 85,000 in the company, an amount he said was significant for someone who had worked in government for 40 years, according to a Wall Street Journal report. .

Mattis also recalled when Holmes asked him to join the Theranos board. “I warned her that I was not a doctor,” he said, noting that Holmes had said she values ​​a variety of backgrounds among the board members.

Mattis eventually joined the board after leaving active service in 2013. He said he was paid $ 150,000 a year to serve on the board. He testified that he had invested and joined the board of directors to “have the skin in the game”.

The retired four-star general also said Holmes was his “only” source of information about the company. During his testimony, several emails between Mattis and Holmes were presented as evidence. They showed the two men discussing plans to test Theranos’ technology for potential use in the military.

In an email in late 2011, Mattis told Holmes: “I’m trying to find a way to use your device on a quick ‘pilot’ or ‘proof of principle’ to speed up its entry into our forces.

Holmes later responded: “It’s up to us to move forward to get a pilot. Will do whatever it takes to make that happen and work through that process.”

Mattis went on to say that he was unaware when he joined the board that some of Theranos’ tests were being run on third-party machines rather than the company’s own Edison machines. After the Wall Street Journal published an explosive investigation into the limits of Theranos’ testing, Mattis began to question “whether Edison worked or not.”

“There came a time when I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos,” he said, according to the Journal. “Looking back, I’m disappointed with the level of transparency … I couldn’t see why we were surprised by such fundamental issues.”

Mattis is one of more than 200 people listed as potential witnesses at the trial.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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