– Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, has begun serving her 11-year, three-month sentence in a federal women’s prison in Texas following her conviction on three charges of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
– Holmes’s fraudulent schemes involved false and faulty medical tests that put patients at risk, leading to her downfall after Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou exposed Theranos’s practices in 2015.
– Holmes’s former business partner and boyfriend, Sunny Balwani, was also convicted and sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison.
Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of the now-defunct Theranos, has reported to a Texas prison to begin her 11-year, three-month sentence. The prison term came with an additional three-year period of supervised release, and Holmes expressed regret for her “failings” before her sentencing. Once celebrated as a biotech genius, she faced 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy, and was found guilty on four of those charges.
Holmes raised $900 million in investor money and created a prototype for the Edison machine, which was supposed to yield accurate blood-test results using a finger prick. However, skeptical scientists discovered that Theranos often used third-party analyzers because it could not conduct all the tests it offered. Walgreens, which had several locations serving as blood testing sites for the startup, cut ties with Theranos due to faulty test results. The drugstore company sued Theranos for breach of contract and settled.
In addition to being sentenced to prison, Holmes’s business partner, Sunny Balwani, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of conspiracy and 10 counts of wire fraud. During her trial, Holmes testified that Balwani was controlling and allegedly sexually assaulted her while they were together, but he has denied these allegations.
Throughout her trial, Holmes became the subject of several onscreen adaptations, including HBO’s “The Inventor” and Hulu’s “The Dropout.” Despite her notoriety, she married Billy Evans, the heir to the Evans Hotel Group, in a secret ceremony. In February 2023, People reported that Holmes and Evans welcomed their second child.
Holmes’s downfall came from the inaccurate medical data her company provided. Patients later alleged that she gave false or faulty test results. With her sentencing, let this serve as a reminder to those in power to remain ethical and transparent in their dealings.