Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced Theranos founder who was as soon as in comparison with Steve Jobs earlier than she was convicted of defrauding traders who backed the now-defunct blood-testing firm, was sentenced to greater than 11 years in jail on Friday.
The pregnant Holmes, wearing a darkish shirt and black skirt, was given 135 months behind bars by US District Choose Edward Davila in the identical San Jose, Calif., courtroom the place a jury convicted her on 4 counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in January.
Moments after the ruling, the 38-year-old Holmes turned to hug her crying mom. She was additionally comforted by her father and her associate after the sentence was handed down.
In the course of the listening to, Holmes cried as she stated she was “devastated” by her failures and would have finished many issues in a different way if she had the possibility.
“I have felt deep shame for what people went through because I failed them,” she stated.
Earlier than handing down the sentence, Davila known as the case “troubling on so many levels,” questioning what motivated Holmes, a “brilliant” entrepreneur, to misrepresent her firm to traders.
“This is a fraud case where an exciting venture went forward with great expectations only to be dashed by untruths, misrepresentations, plain hubris and lies,” he stated.
She was ordered to start serving the sentence April 27. Her legal professionals have two weeks to file an enchantment and are anticipated to ask the decide to permit her to stay free on bail through the course of.
Holmes’ 135-month sentence was under the 15 years requested by prosecutors, who additionally sought $804 million in restitution for 29 traders.
The quantity covers a lot of the practically $1 billion that Holmes raised from an inventory of refined traders that included software program magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Walton household behind Walmart.
Davila ordered Holmes repay $121 million to 10 traders, together with Murdoch and former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich, who sat on the corporate’s board, in response to the New York Occasions.
Her authorized workforce had requested for incarceration of not more than 18 months, ideally served in house confinement. A probation report additionally submitted to Davila really useful a nine-year jail sentence for Holmes.
Earlier than Davila handed down his sentence, the courtroom was abuzz when the prosecuting lawyer, John Bostic, claimed that Holmes as soon as stated: “They don’t put attractive people like me in jail.”
Holmes’ protection lawyer, Kevin Downey, disputed the declare, saying that the prosecution by no means known as any witnesses throughout trial who can testify to the alleged comment.
The sentencing marks an finish to a saga that has been dissected in an HBO documentary and an award-winning Hulu TV sequence about Holmes’ meteoric rise and epic downfall.
As soon as valued at $9 billion, Theranos promised to revolutionize how sufferers obtain diagnoses by changing conventional labs with small machines envisioned to be used in properties, drugstores and even on the battlefield.
Forbes dubbed Holmes the world’s youngest feminine self-made billionaire in 2014, when she was 30 and her stake in Theranos was price $4.5 billion.
Whereas wooing traders, Holmes leveraged a high-powered Theranos board that included former US Protection Secretary James Mattis, who testified in opposition to her throughout her trial, and two former US Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz, whose son submitted a press release blasting Holmes for concocting a scheme that performed Shultz “for the fool.”
Her legal professionals had argued that Holmes deserved extra lenient therapy as a well-meaning entrepreneur who’s now a faithful mom with one other baby on the way in which.
Downey additionally requested Davila to think about the alleged sexual and emotional abuse Holmes suffered whereas she was concerned romantically with Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who grew to become a Theranos investor, prime government and ultimately an confederate in her crimes.
Balwani, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7 after being convicted in a July trial on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Holmes’ reporting date to start her jail time may very well be the results of her second being pregnant in two years. After giving beginning to a son shortly earlier than her trial began final 12 months, Holmes grew to become pregnant in some unspecified time in the future whereas free on bail this 12 months.
Though her legal professionals didn’t point out the being pregnant in an 82-page memo submitted to Davila final week, the being pregnant was confirmed in a letter from her present associate, William “Billy” Evans, that urged the decide to be merciful.
In that 12-page letter, which included photos of Holmes doting on their 1-year-old son, Evans talked about that Holmes participated in a Golden Gate Bridge swimming occasion earlier this 12 months whereas pregnant.
He additionally famous Holmes suffered by a case of COVID-19 in August whereas pregnant. Evans didn’t disclose Holmes’ due date in his letter.
Downey painted Holmes her as a selfless visionary who spent 14 years of her life making an attempt to revolutionize well being care with a know-how that was supposed to have the ability to scan for lots of of illnesses and different aliments with just some drops of blood.
Though proof submitted throughout her trial confirmed the assessments produced wildly unreliable outcomes that might have steered sufferers within the flawed route, her legal professionals asserted Holmes by no means stopped making an attempt to good the know-how till Theranos collapsed in 2018.
In addition they identified that Holmes by no means bought any of her Theranos shares — a stake valued at $4.5 billion in 2014 when Holmes was being hailed as the following Steve Jobs on the covers of enterprise magazines.
Defending herself in opposition to prison expenses has left Holmes with “substantial debt from which she is unlikely to recover,” Downey wrote, suggesting that she is unlikely ever to pay any restitution that Davila may order as a part of her sentence.
“Holmes is not a danger to society,” Downey wrote.
Federal prosecutor Robert Leach emphatically declared Holmes deserves a extreme punishment for engineering a rip-off that he described as probably the most egregious white-collar crimes ever dedicated in Silicon Valley.
In a scathing 46-page memo, Leach informed the decide he has a chance to ship a message that curbs the hubris and hyperbole unleashed by the tech growth of the previous decade.
Holmes “preyed on hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed healthcare,” Leach wrote.
“And through her deceit, she attained spectacular fame, adoration, and billions of dollars of wealth.”
With Publish Wires