Elizabeth Holmes loses bid to avoid jail | CNN Business
Elizabeth Holmes’ last-minute bid to avoid prison was denied by an appeals court on Tuesday, clearing the way for the disgraced Theranos founder to begin her sentence.
In a separate ruling Tuesday, Holmes was also ordered to pay $452 million in restitution to people harmed by his crimes, including Theranos investors such as media titan Rupert Murdoch.
Holmes was previously ordered into custody and will begin her 11-year prison sentence on April 27 after being convicted of multiple counts of defrauding investors last January.
Days before his prison sentence was to begin, Holmes filed a last-minute appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking to remain free on bond while fighting to overturn his sentence
In a filing Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court denied his request to remain free on bail pending his appeal. A new prison release date for Holmes has not yet been set.
Also Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ordered Holmes and her ex-boyfriend and former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to pay approximately $452 million in restitution to the victims of their crimes. Holmes and Balwani “will be jointly and severally liable for this sum,” Davila wrote in the filing, meaning each could be individually liable for the full amount.
Balwani was charged along with Holmes and convicted of fraud in a separate trial. He reported to the prison last month that he was serving his nearly 13-year sentence, after losing a similar last-minute appeal to Holmes.
Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to focus full-time on Theranos, the health-tech startup that claimed to have invented technology that could accurately test for a range of conditions with just a few drops of blood. Theranos raised $945 million from an impressive list of investors and was valued at around $9 billion at its peak, making Holmes a paper billionaire.
The company began unraveling after a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 reported that Theranos had performed only about a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary technology, and even those with dubious accuracy. It also came to light that Theranos relied on third-party devices from traditional blood testing companies rather than its own technology.