(UnitedVoice.com) – Elizabeth Holmes, 39, was once one of the most prominent figures in the biotechnology sector. Her blood testing company Theranos showed huge promise and was worth $10 billion. But it was all a smoke screen. She was convicted of fraud for duping investors, and now she will spend the next several years behind bars.
Holmes Begins Her Sentence
On May 30, Holmes reported to a federal prison in Bryan, Texas, where she will serve her sentence of more than 11 years for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons confirmed the former Silicon Valley entrepreneur had begun serving her sentence. She left behind two children, 3-month-old Invicta, and 1-year-old William. The children’s father will care for the kids in San Diego while she serves out her sentence.
Roughly two weeks before Holmes traveled to Texas, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals rejected her attempt to remain free while she appealed her conviction. The convicted felon’s former lover, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, is also serving prison time. He received a 13-year sentence for 12 counts of conspiracy.
Holmes founded Theranos when she was just 19 years old. She managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to launch the business by claiming she created tests that required a small amount of blood to test for a number of ailments. The young entrepreneur told investors that her product would make blood tests more accessible and cheaper to the public. Theranos was valued at $9 billion when Holmes was just 31.
In 2018, 15 years after she started Theranos, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and Balwani. Authorities charged her with fraud after learning her company was never capable of carrying out the blood tests it promised it could. The technology she told investors was groundbreaking often returned unreliable and inaccurate results.
According to prosecutors, Holmes lied to investors about the company’s future prospects and financial condition. The company told investors it was using analyzers developed by the company for tests when it actually used commercially available analyzers.
Holmes and Balwani must pay $452 million in restitution as part of their sentences. US District Judge Edward Davila named 14 victims, including Rupert Murdoch, who invested $125 million in Theranos and Walgreens Boots Alliance, to which the defendants owe $40 million.
Attorneys for Holmes have asserted she doesn’t have any assets that have meaningful value. In fact, she owes money to her attorneys, who represented her in another suit. That means it’s unlikely the victims of the crimes will get much from the scammers. Experts have said Holmes will have to serve about 9.5 years of her sentence.
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