Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO and founder of Theranos, has convicted to just over 11 years in prison for defrauding the investors of her blood testing start-up. The sentence comes nearly a year after Holmes was found guilty of four counts of fraud after a months-long trial.
In all, Holmes was sentenced to 135 months in prison and three years on supervised release. A submission date was set for April 27. She will also be ordered to pay restitution, although Judge Ed Davila said the amount will be determined at a separate hearing. Prosecutors had asked for more than $800 million in restitution, representing 29 investors, but at the sentencing hearing Davila said restitution would be based on $121 million in losses for 10 investors, according to The New York Times.
Prior to her sentencing, prosecutors had pushed for a 15-year prison sentence, while Holmes’ lawyers argued she would face no more than 18 months of house arrest. Her parole officer had recommended nine years, The New York Times reported.
During the trial, Holmes’ lawyers attempted to portray the founder of Theranos as a young and inexperienced entrepreneur who had no intention of misleading investors or the public. During her testimony, Holmes blamed many of Theranos’ problems on others at the company, including her former partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani.
She also testified that Balwani was abusive during their romantic relationship and that he misled her about what happened in Theranos’ lab. Balwani, who also oversaw the day-to-day operations of the company’s lab as COO, was found guilty of 12 counts of fraud in a separate trial earlier this year. His sentencing is scheduled for December.
Even at her sentencing, Holmes proved she still has influential allies to defend her. Several Silicon Valley investors, including early Theranos backer Tim Draper, wrote letters of support urging the judge for a lighter sentence. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also wrote supported her and asked the judge for “a fair and just punishment”.
Holmes made a brief statement at her sentencing hearing. “I regret my shortcomings with every cell of my body,” she said, according to Law360s Dorothy Atkins. Holmes cried during her statement, according to multiple courtroom reporters.
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