Elizabeth Holmes Will Be Sentenced Today, And She’s Asking For 18 Months On House Arrest While Prosecutors Want 15 Years In The Clink (UPDATE: She Got 11 Years)
UPDATE: Well, so much for that cushy 18-month house arrest sentence she wanted. Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11.25 years in the chokey and three years of supervised release. She’ll start serving her sentence in April 2023.
Here’s the original post:
Today is Scammers Reckoning Day for Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced former CEO of bogus health tech company Theranos. Back in January, 38-year-old Elizabeth was found guilty on 4 out of 11 charges of fraud, and today she will finally be sentenced. Prosecutors are seeking a 15-year prison term for Elizabeth and want her to pay $800 million in restitution to investors she scammed, including the Walton family of Walmart, Rupert Murdoch, and Walgreens. Elizabeth’s lawyers are asking for a touch less: a mere 18 months on house arrest. They’re presenting her as a devoted mother. Elizabeth is married to 29-year-old hotel heir Billy Evans, and they have one child, a 1-year-old son, and a second on the way (yep, she’s pregnant again!). Wait, making babies can help you stay out of prison? Jen Shah, it’s time to unfreeze those eggs!
The Guardian reports that experts expect her to serve “substantial time behind bars.” Federal sentencing guidelines suggest additional prison time for larger dollar amounts of fraud. The fraud charges Elizabeth was convicted of total more than $140 million.
In case you missed all the headlines and/or the actually pretty good Amanda Seyfried miniseries, The Dropout, here’s a recap of all the Theranos fuckery: Elizabeth founded the company after dropping out of Stanford at age 19. She promised revolutionary technology that could run hundreds of health tests using just one drop of blood. Usually, you need, like, a bunch of blood. The company got big-shot backers like Henry Kissinger and former defense secretary James Mattis, both of whom testified against Elizabeth in the trial. Shit hit the fan in 2015, when the Wall Street Journal published an exposé about Elizabeth and Theranos. The article alleged the company couldn’t actually do what it promised, and most of its blood tests were being done on machines from other companies. Theranos dissolved in 2018, and Elizabeth and her former boyfriend/co-executive, 57-year-old Sunny Balwani, were both charged with 12 counts of fraud in separate trials. Elizabeth was eventually found guilty on 4, and Sunny was found guilty on all 12. He’s expected to be sentenced next month.
More than 130 people submitted letters of support for Elizabeth ahead of today’s hearing, including her husband, family, and Senator Cory Booker. He wrote, “I firmly believe in the possibility of rehabilitation and in the power of redemption for anyone.” Even that evil con artist Elizabeth Holmes? Wow! Hopefully, Jared Leto’s letter got lost in the mail. Having a total creep as a celebrity bestie isn’t a great look.
Throughout the four-month trial, which began in late August 2021 and ended in early January of this year, Elizabeth’s lawyers tried to present her as an ambitious but misguided CEO who had no clue how badly Theranos tech was fucking up. They also argued that Elizabeth was abused by her ex, Sunny, and it’s unnecessary for her to spend time in prison:
“Ms Holmes is no danger to the public,” Holmes’s lawyers said in the court documents. “She has no criminal history, has a perfect pre-trial services compliance record and is described by the people who know her repeatedly as a gentle and loving person who tries to do the right thing.”
Elizabeth’s sentencing hearing is happening right now in San Jose, CA, and NBC News business reporter Scott Budman tweeted that prosecutors claim she once wrote that pretty people don’t go to prison:
#Update: Prosecuting attorney claims Elizabeth Holmes at one point wrote: "They don't put attractive people like me in jail."
That got some people shifting in their seats.
— scott budman (@scottbudman) November 18, 2022
So let’s see, to get out of prison, she’s used the “but I’m a mother to babies” and possibly the “but I’m 2pretty4prison” defenses. Next, she’s going to put on her fake deep voice to scream, “And they don’t even sell black turtlenecks in prison commissaries. What am I supposed to do?”