Sentencing Date Set for Elizabeth Holmes

Theranos founder will remain free on $500K bond until Sept. 26 sentencing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2022 5:09 AM CST
Sentencing Date Set for Elizabeth Holmes
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes walks into the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building and USCourthouse for her trial in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.   (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Theranos founder and convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes will learn her fate on Sept. 26, according to an order filed by US District Judge Edward J. Davila on Wednesday. Holmes, who turns 38 next month, could face up to 20 years on each of the four fraud charges she was convicted of, though since she has no criminal record, experts believe she won't get anything near the maximum sentence. Reuters reports that Holmes agreed with prosecutors on the late sentencing date due to "ongoing proceedings in a related matter"—the trial of former Theranos chief operating officer and alleged co-conspirator Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, which will also be overseen by Davila.

"It's not typical for a case to be sentenced eight months out, but this is not a typical case in many senses," former federal prosecutor Amanda Kramer tells NPR. "And some facts established in Balwani's trial might prove to be relevant in Holmes' sentencing." During her trial, Holmes said she had been physically and emotionally abused by Balwani during their relationship, which began when she was 18 and he was 38. Holmes, who was found guilty of scamming investors in the blood-testing startup out of more than $100 million, is expected to appeal her convictions and the process could drag on for years.

For now, Holmes is free on a $500,000 bond secured by property. She was found not guilty on another four fraud charges and federal prosecutors said this week that three charges the jury couldn't reach agreement on will be dismissed, the New York Times reports. Kramer predicts that while Holmes might not get the maximum, she will get at least some prison time as a message to other potential Silicon Valley fraudsters. "What is the sentence that will deter others who have a failing business from making the choice to commit fraud, rather than owning up to the failings and losing their dream?" she says. (Read more Elizabeth Holmes stories.)

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