Key Points:

  • Elizabeth Holmes, the brain behind the infamous blood-testing startup Theranos has received over 11 years of prison sentence.
  • Once hailed as Silicon Valley’s wonder kid, Holmes is guilty of defrauding investors.
  • The court issued an order to start her sentence on April 27, 2023.

The verdict is out! Elizabeth Holmes, the former Chief Executive of the blood-testing startup, Theranos has received over 11 years of prison sentence for her role in defrauding investors with bold claims about her blood-testing company’s technology. 

The court ordered her to start her sentence on April 27, 2023, putting an end to the year-long saga that attracted substantial public attention and sparked many debates. 

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What exactly did Holmes do?

This case has been one of the most bizarre cases from Silicon Valley in recent years. Holmes, who was the CEO of Theranos for 15 years was convicted in January this year. What exactly did she do?

She tried to sell a scheme which primarily revolved around the company’s claims of creating a revolutionary medical device. According to Holmes, her company had successfully created a medical device that could detect a myriad of diseases and medical conditions with just a few drops of blood. Unfortunately for Holmes, the technology failed. 

Holmes also violated the principle of honesty and the standard of integrity when she showcased fake demonstrations of the medical testing device built by her company to investors. She resorted to fraudulent antics to convince investors to pump in capital into her startup. As mentioned earlier, every claim made by Holmes was false and they convicted her on four counts of fraud. Each of these crimes comes with a 20 year stint in prison. 

What next, will Holmes serve her sentence?

Although a probation officer assigned to the case suggested nine years in prison, federal sentence guidelines for wire fraud of the kind that Ms Holmes was found guilty of demand a maximum of 20 years. In contrast to the 15 years and $804 million in reparations sought by the prosecution for 29 investors, her attorneys had only requested 18 months of house jail.

The prosecution had requested judge Davila to consider the message that her case would convey to the world. They stated in court documents that Ms. Holmes needed to receive a long term in order to “deter similar start-up fraud schemes” and “rebuild the trust investors must have when backing innovators.”

In court, Ms Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey argued that since she had never sold her Theranos stock, there was no evidence of greed, such as boats, jets, big houses, and parties.

He stated, “We have a conviction for a felony where the defendant’s intent was to develop the technology.”

On April 27, Holmes must report to prison. She became pregnant this year when she was out on bail after giving birth to a son just before the commencement of her trial last year.

It confirmed the pregnancy in a letter from her current partner, William “Billy” Evans, who pleaded with the judge to show mercy, although her lawyers failed to disclose it in an 82-page brief they provided to the judge last week.

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