Former Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison for defrauding investors

Former biotech innovator and Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who was once touted by the media as the youngest self-made female billionaire and the new face of feminism, was convicted in January on multiple counts of fraud.

The now-disgraced Holmes was sentenced on Friday to slightly more than 11 years in federal prison for having defrauded investors out of around $1 billion, the Daily Wire reported.

The fraud stemmed from Holmes’ false claims to investors that her company Theranos had developed a breakthrough blood sample testing device that in actuality did not work as advertised.

Convicted in January

According to a Justice Department press release in January, Holmes was convicted by a jury of one count of conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud as part of her multi-million dollar scheme to convince investors to financially support Theranos and its new blood testing device.

Federal prosecutors proved in the 15-week trial that Holmes had knowingly made numerous false representations and statements to investors and the general public about the capabilities and efficacy of the blood analyzer.

At the time of her conviction, Holmes faced up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the defrauded investors.

An 11-year prison sentence, restitution to be determined

The Associated Press reported that ultimately asked the court to sentence Holmes to 15 years in prison while her defense team requested a far more lenient sentence of just 18 months in home confinement.

However, District Judge Edward Davila handed down a prison sentence of just over 11 years and set a date of April 27 for Holmes, who is currently pregnant with her second child, to report to prison and begin serving her sentence.

During the sentencing hearing, Davila lambasted Holmes and Theranos for their “misrepresentations, hubris, and just plain lies” to investors about the product

Prosecutors had also asked for the judge to order Holmes to pay restitution in the amount of $804 million to the many investors she defrauded, but Davila deferred a decision on that matter for a future unscheduled hearing.

From hero to zero

Holmes had launched the now-shuttered Theranos in 2003 and, on the basis of her fraudulent claims, had grown the business to be valued at more than $4.5 billion in 2014, at which point she was lauded by the media and touted as an example for all and a future leader by many within the Washington D.C. establishment.

The Daily Wire noted that Holmes’ defense team attempted to argue that she herself had been naively duped by others she trusted into believing the deceptive claims about her own product, and the AP noted that she cried and claimed to be deeply apologetic and remorseful for what had occurred during the sentencing hearing.

Latest News