Elizabeth Holmes Faces Prison, $452 Million Restitution Bill after Appeal Rejected
Elizabeth Holmes, the former Theranos CEO, faces imminent imprisonment following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' rejection of her plea to remain free. The court's decision arrives nearly three weeks after Holmes sought to delay the start of her 11-year prison sentence with a last-minute legal maneuver.
Previously sentenced in November by US District Judge Edward Davila, Holmes was initially ordered to surrender to authorities on April 27. Following the court's recent decision, Judge Davila will now determine a new date for Holmes to report to prison from her current residence in the San Diego area.
Holmes' impending incarceration will separate her from her partner, William "Billy" Evans, and their two children, William, aged 1, and three-month-old Invicta. Holmes' pregnancy with Invicta began in January 2022, shortly after her conviction on four counts of fraud and conspiracy.
The court has proposed that Holmes serves her sentence in a women's penitentiary in Bryan, Texas. The federal Bureau of Prisons is yet to confirm this recommendation or assign Holmes to an alternative facility.
Holmes' former partner and Theranos' top executive, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, is currently serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence after a conviction on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy. He began his sentence in April, following a separate trial in July.
Holmes was once celebrated as the "next Steve Jobs" and reputedly the world's youngest self-made billionaire. She founded Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University, raising millions of dollars from high-profile investors, including Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, and Larry Ellison. However, the company collapsed in 2018 following revelations of its faulty technology.
Judge Davila's restitution ruling stipulates that Holmes and Balwani must repay investors who lost their capital when the company failed. Rupert Murdoch is set to receive the highest sum, $125 million. Holmes and Balwani are also ordered to pay $40 million to Walgreens, a Theranos investor, and $14.5 million to Safeway, a former business partner.
The pair, whose stakes in Theranos were once valued at $4.5 billion and $500 million respectively, have suggested they are nearing bankruptcy due to their substantial legal fees. Holmes' attorneys have contested her conviction, arguing that alleged errors and misconduct during her trial warrant her remaining free pending the appeal's outcome. Both Judge Davila and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have denied this request.