Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years in prison

Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 135 months, or 11.25 years, in prison for her role in defrauding investors of her blood testing company. She will benefit from three additional years of probation.

Holmes will not have to report to jail until April next year.

Holmes, 38, was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who sits in federal court for the Northern District of California and oversaw her trial last year. Davila said he would set a date in the future for Holmes’ restitution hearing, according at journalists in the courtroom.

Holmes, who is pregnant for the second time, spoke in court on Friday in tears.

“I stand before you taking responsibility for Theranos. It was my life’s work,” she says, according to reporters in the courtroom.

“I’m devastated by my failures,” she said, noting that she “felt deep pain for what people went through because I let them down.” She later apologized to investors and patients, adding, “I regret my failures with every cell in my body.”

His sentencing comes after a final push by Holmes and his legal team to secure a new trial, strewn with claims that a key prosecution witness regrets the role he played in his sentencing. Davila denied the request earlier this month.

Jurors convicted Holmes on Jan. 4 of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors and three counts of wire transfer fraud. Each count carried a maximum of 20 years in prison and could be served concurrently. Prosecutors asked Davila to sentence her to 15 years.

“She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair investor relations,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Leach wrote in a 46-page filing. last week. “Elizabeth Holmes’ crimes weren’t failing, they were lying – lying in the most serious context, where everyone needed her to tell the truth.”

Elizabeth Holmes in 2015, when her medical testing company was valued at $9 billion.

Taylor Hill via Getty Images

The jury hearing Holmes’ case found her not guilty on four other counts – three of which related to fraudulent patients – and returned no verdict on three others after seven days of deliberation.

Jurors speaking since the trial concluded said they quickly accepted all four guilty verdicts because it was clear to them that Holmes had deliberately misled investors linked to those charges by giving false financial projections. and amended reports to investors.

“It all went through her. She got the final approval,” juror Wayne Kaatz, an Emmy-winning television writer, told ABC News of Holmes’ apparent guilt over the business dealings of Theranos.

Juror Susanna Stefanek, managing editor at Apple, told the Wall Street Journal that there were two “irrefutable guns” in the lawsuit: a report Theranos gave to investors that Holmes had edited to appear be an endorsement from pharmaceutical and biotech company Pfizer, and a company document projecting $40 million in annual revenue from pharmaceutical companies, even though no such contract was in place.

Jurors said they found her not guilty on counts related to defrauding patients because she was too distant from them. Regarding the charges they could not rule on, jurors said they could not agree on whether there was sufficient evidence that Holmes had lied to certain investors.

Elizabeth Holmes' request for a new trial was denied earlier this month.
Elizabeth Holmes’ request for a new trial was denied earlier this month.

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Holmes pleaded not guilty to all charges in 2018 after a federal grand jury chose to indict her for making fraudulent claims about blood-testing machines she was developing. Investors say Holmes promised them the devices could diagnose a wide range of conditions with just a few drops of blood, revolutionizing the standard medical testing process that requires vials of blood and much more time.

Holmes started Theranos in 2003, when she was just 19, after dropping out of Stanford University. Silicon Valley, the media, and high-profile figures quickly identified her as “one to watch,” helping her attract many top investors, including the Walton family, founders of Walmart; media mogul Rupert Murdoch; and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

In 2015, his business was valued at $9 billion. But that same year, whistleblowers within the company began telling reporters that Theranos machines were largely non-functional and there was little evidence to show they would ever be. day. Investors and business partners started pulling out and the inquiries started piling up.

In addition to the Jan. 4 conviction, Holmes reached a 2018 settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over other allegations of fraud and was therefore barred from being a director or officer of any company. public for a decade.


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