Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced For Theranos Fraud: Will Appeal April 2023 Surrender

Image Twitter Mark Ritson

On Friday, Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was sentenced to more than 11 years and three months in jail, capping the fall for a one-time Silicon Valley wunderkind. Theranos was “the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire”, according to Forbes magazine.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over Holmes’ months-long trial in which she was convicted of orchestrating a years-long fraud scheme at her blood-testing company, handed down the sentence in federal court on Friday.
Additionally, a judge ordered Holmes to surrender on April 27, 2023. She has 14 days to appeal her conviction. Her lawyers will seek to have her released on bail during her appeal.

Holmes is a Stanford University dropout who established a $9 billion (£6.5 billion) company that she claimed would revolutionize disease diagnosis. Theranos stated that its Edison test, which requires only a few drops of blood, could diagnose illnesses such as cancer and diabetes rapidly and without the use of needles. On the board sat everyone from Henry Kissinger to General James Mattis.

It all started when a whistleblower expressed concerns about Theranos’ main testing equipment, the Edison, in 2015. The seams had set fraying, and Holmes was exposed as a forgery within a year. The technology she promoted didn’t work at all, and the company she formed had failed by 2018.

In January, a jury in California found her guilty of four charges of fraud, each carrying a potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The jury found her not guilty on four other charges and deadlocked on three more. Holmes, who had pled not guilty to all charges, asked for a second trial, but motion was denied.

During the trial, Holmes accused Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and business partner, of emotionally and sexually abusing her at the time of the alleged crimes, causing her mental state to deteriorate. Lawsuits piled up, partners parted ways, and US officials barred Holmes from operating a blood-testing service for two years in 2016. Theranos was dissolved in 2018.

The same year, she and Balwani were arrested on felony accusations of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They had just agreed to resolve civil claims brought by financial regulators that she had raised $700 million fraudulently from investors.

Holmes has been residing in California with husband William “Billy” Evans, an heir to the Evans Hotel Group, since the trial. They have a son, and she is expecting their second child.

Holmes’ attorneys argued that she should not face prison time since she was not a danger to society, and she has the support of the 130 people, including Senator Cory Booker, who testified on her behalf.

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