Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who had served as president and COO of defunct biotech company Theranos Inc., was set to stand trial Wednesday in a San Jose federal courthouse on criminal fraud charges, months after the guilty verdict of his former partner and ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes.

The trial, however, has been delayed by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila due to a COVID-19 exposure.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to take a break today," said Davila.

Balwani has pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud charges. He faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

Balwani's trial comes after Holmes was found guilty on Jan. 3 on four of 11 charges, including three counts of fraud and one count of conspiring to defraud private investors. Holmes will be sentenced in September.

Theranos was a startup founded in 2003 that touted blood test results with just a finger prick. After more than $700 million raised from venture capitalists, the company would reach a $10 billion valuation by 2015.

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal in October 2015 revealed that Theranos' claims were overblown and that the company had been collecting blood samples the traditional way and not through its technology.

During her trial, Holmes attempted to shift the blame to Balwani, claiming he sexually and psychologically abused her over the course of their relationship, claims which Balwani and his legal team strongly deny. Holmes painted Balwani as the toxic mentor, someone who controlled every aspect of her life to help her business succeed, and ultimately she also lost her way.

Prosecutors argued that ultimately she was the CEO so whatever decisions and outcomes are on her regardless of whatever happened behind the scenes.

Balwani’s trial had been scheduled for January. It was delayed until mid-March due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

People line up outside court to attend the high-profile Theranos trial
People line up outside court to attend the high-profile Theranos trial AFP / Nick Otto