Artificial Intelligence

Elizabeth Holmes receives 11.25-year sentence for Theranos fraud

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Science Instruments in laboratory room. Science Research Concept.

In a saga that played out in the media, in TV shows, documentaries, and a highly publicised four-month trial, former Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in January 2022.

Today, the 38-year-old received her sentence: 11.25 years, or 135 months, in prison

Judge Edward Davila explained that Holmes’ acquittal on charges related to harming patients helped her case, but that her refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing nonetheless hurt it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Holmes reportedly said some version of, “They don’t put pretty people like me in jail,” to a Walgreens representative back in 2010, according to a sentencing memo filed by prosecutors about a week before Friday’s hearing.

In January, Holmes was found guilty by a San Jose-based jury on four counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. She faced a maximum of 20 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine for each count, plus restitutions.

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Holmes was the CEO of blood-testing company Theranos, which claimed to be able to test for various diseases using a pinprick of the patient’s blood.

Charged alongside former Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes faced a total of 11 counts during her trial (two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud) which saw prosecutors arguing that she’d defrauded investors by faking something scientifically impossible. Four of the charges stuck. Out of the other seven, Holmes was found not guilty on three of the wire fraud counts and one of the conspiracy counts. The jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts, which concerned specific wire fraud charges from Dec. 2013.

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