CHARLESTON, S.C. – U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill | AP Photo Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis Testifies in Elizabeth Holmes Fraud Trial
Former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis testified in a fraud trial Friday that hospital records from Amazon Inc’s cloud service were mishandled, and that it was possible at least some of the evidence was stolen.
Matthews testified in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, as the trial for former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who is accused of orchestrating a $9.7 billion fraud, ended. He said in October that the Homeland Security Department was investigating information stolen from the U.S. Department of Defense system.
“The records were mishandled,” Mattis said, according to a transcript of the hearing that was released on Friday. “I believe in these matters, that security needs to be improved or enhanced.”
During his testimony, Mattis said investigators were looking into how, or whether, stolen information from the Defense Department cloud might have ended up in Holmes’ possession.
“The documents were in connection with the Defense Department’s use of Amazon Web Services,” he said. “There is an incident report which showed the photographs and the videos were being displayed on connected devices on the Amazon Web Services cloud.”
Holmes’ defense attorneys said in court documents that government investigators lacked the technology background to understand the cyber security issues, but argued that the testimony of Mattis, one of the Pentagon’s highest-ranking officers, showed evidence of the security problems.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the evidence probe. A spokeswoman for Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The trial had previously heard testimony that the laptop of Holmes’ business partner Rajiv Grover contained information from the Defense Department cloud.
Holmes, who co-founded Theranos in Palo Alto, California, in 2003 with Grover, is accused of obstructing justice by using a secret defense Department email address to communicate with a Theranos attorney. Holmes has pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Holmes co-founded Theranos in 2003 with Grover. One investor said in October that he was no longer involved with the company.