Elizabeth Holmes to be sentenced nine months after guilty verdict

Holmes remains free on bond till September and faces up to 20 years in prison, but experts say she will likely receive far fewer

Elizabeth Holmes is slated to be sentenced on 26 September after being found guilty of defrauding Theranos investors, according to a court filing on Wednesday.

A California jury found Holmes, 37, guilty on four of 11 charges, including three counts of fraud and one count of conspiring to defraud private investors in the blood-testing startup. She remains free on a $500,000 bond while awaiting sentencing.

Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges but will probably receive far fewer, according to experts, given her lack of criminal history.

Holmes’ sentencing was set for later in 2022 to allow for the trial of Sunny Balwani, her former personal and professional partner, whose trial for related fraud charges will begin in March.

Holmes alleged during her trial she was abused by Balwani, who served for 10 years as co-president of the company. Balwani has strongly denied claims of mistreating Holmes.

Holmes had risen to fame and power while claiming her Theranos machines could run common blood tests on a few drops from a finger prick. Once valued at $9bn, the company collapsed after the Wall Street Journal published a series of articles that suggested its devices were flawed and inaccurate.

Holmes was acquitted on three charges, including conspiracy to defraud patients and two charges related to patients who received inaccurate test results. One charge was thrown out earlier in the trial and the jury did not come to a verdict on the remaining three charges.

In a separate court filing, government attorneys said they plan to dismiss the three counts the jury did not reach a verdict on.

Holmes plans to ask the judge overseeing her case to overturn her convictions, according to court filings. If he does not, she is likely to appeal and could seek to suspend her sentence until a final ruling.

Her conviction sealed the extraordinary rise and fall of the company and could have wide-ranging consequences for the tech industry.

It also marked an indictment of the hype machine that helped rocket Holmes to fame, as she graced the covers of major magazines, headlined conferences, and drew comparisons to Apple’s Steve Jobs.

During the trial, which took place in San Jose, she reportedly lived on a 74-acre estate in a town neighboring the city with her partner, Billy Evans, and their infant son.

Reuters contributed to this report.


Kari Paul

The GuardianTramp

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