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Court Rejects Elizabeth Holmes’ Latest Effort
Disgraced Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of Theranos, now appears to be headed for prison after an appeals court on Tuesday denied her request to remain in the open as she seeks to have her conviction for a blood-testing scam that garnered her momentary fame and money overturned.
Nearly three weeks after Holmes used a last-minute legal strategy to put off the start of her 11-year prison sentence, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who sentenced her in November, had already issued a directive for her to turn herself into law enforcement on April 27. Holmes, 39, will now be given a new deadline by Davila to leave her current residence in the San Diego region and surrender to prison.
As a result of the sentence, Holmes will no longer be living with William “Billy” Evans, with whom she shares a 1-year-old boy named William and a 3-month-old daughter named Invicta. Invicta is the Latin name “invincible” or “undefeated,” Holmes became pregnant with it after a jury found her guilty on four charges of fraud and conspiracy in January 2022.
According to Davila’s recommendation, Holmes should complete her term at a women’s jail in Bryan, Texas. It is unknown if Holmes was transferred to another facility or if the federal Bureau of Prisons accepted Davila’s recommendation.
Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former partner and senior lieutenant at Theranos, started serving a nearly 13-year jail sentence in April after being found guilty on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy in a separate trial last July. Balwani, 57, was imprisoned in Southern California after failing to win a similar battle to be released on bail while contesting his sentence.
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After 46 days of trial testimony and other evidence that shed light on a culture of avarice and arrogance that plagued Silicon Valley as technology increasingly impacted society and the economy over the past 20 years, the judgment against Holmes was reached. The trial’s most exciting scenes occurred when Holmes took the witness stand to testify in her defense.
In addition to describing how she started Theranos as a kid after leaving Stanford University in 2003, Holmes accused Balwani of mistreating her emotionally and sexually. She also claimed that she had never lost faith in Theranos’ ability to transform healthcare with a technology that, according to her, could screen for hundreds of diseases and other possible issues with just a few drops of blood.
While pursuing that bold goal, Holmes gathered nearly $1 billion from wealthy backers, including media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. After a Wall Street Journal investigation and regulatory reviews revealed risky weaknesses in Theranos’ technology, intelligent investors lost their money.
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Holmes’s attorneys have been contesting her conviction because she committed errors and misbehaved during her trial. They have also argued that because of the egregiousness of the mistakes and abuses that the jury was subjected to, she should be permitted to remain free while the appeal is being processed. However, both Davila and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected this request.
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