The founder of a medtech startup Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, was sentenced to 135 months, or just over 11 years, in prison. However, she will go to prison not immediately. She will have to go there as soon as April 27, 2023. In addition, Holmes will have three more years of supervised parole after that, reports The Verge.
Judge Edward Davila who led the case, said the charges she was found guilty of held her responsible for defrauding 10 victims out of $121 million, writes The New York Times. Davila ruled that Holmes’s refusal to accept responsibility for the fraud was taken into account at sentencing.
At the beginning of this year, the jury trial found Elizabeth Holmes guilty in three counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. A few weeks before the former CEO of Theranos was sentenced, prosecutors asked a judge to give her 15 years in prison and pay more than $800 million to victims. On the day of the trial, the government argued that Holmes’ actions put patients at risk.
Meanwhile, Holmes’ lawyers filed an 82-page document which was stating why she should receive a much lighter sentence – 18 months of house arrest and community service at most – and provided more than 100 letters written in support of the Theranos founder.
Holmes led a company that promised to revolutionize the medical field by performing more than 240 medical tests from just one drop of blood when traditional methods required much more samples and time.
Though, it appeared that the company’s equipment was malfunctioning and giving patients inaccurate results. Holmes was found not guilty of two counts of defrauding patients and one count of conspiracy to defraud patients. The trial hinged mainly on whether Holmes knew she was giving false information. In announcing his decision, Davila cited correspondence between Holmes and Sunny Balwani, the former chief operating officer and president of Theranos, as evidence that Holmes conspired to defraud investors.
Balwani was also found guilty in a separate trial of 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Unlike Holmes, Balwani misled both investors and patients. He will be sentenced on December 7.
We’ll remind you that the story of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes was screened in miniseries from Hulu – The Dropout, which is based on the ABC podcast of the same name.