Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced To 11 Years & 3 Months In Prison On Fraud Charges

The Theranos founder was convicted of fraud for her failed blood-testing startup in a San Jose courthouse on Friday.

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Image Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP/Shutterstock

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to a 11-year and three month long prison sentence after being convicted on fraud charges, on Friday, November 18. The former tech entrepreneur, 38, was also fined $250, 000 and ordered to pay restitution on each of her four charges of defrauding investors. Her sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release, per Variety, who also reported the sentence. As for turning herself in, she is expected to self-surrender at a later date. The sentencing by Judge Edward Davila took place after a hearing that lasted four hours.

Prior to her conviction, Elizabeth was found guilty back in January. She faced up to 20 years in prison for charges of defrauding investors. Lawyers for the government had requested that she be sentenced to 15 years in prison, as well as probation and restitution, while her lawyers had requested that she only be sentenced to 18 months with probation and community service, per CNNProsecutors requested that she be ordered to pay $804 million in restitution to George P. Shultz, who died in February 2021, and the companies Walgreens and Safeway, according to The New York Times. 

Elizabeth founded Theranos when she was a teen in 2003. She garnered much interest when she claimed that she had invented new technology, which could test blood with very few drops. She came under fire when journalists investigated the company and found that the technology wasn’t as reliable as she’d claimed, leading to investors to pursue fraud charges.

Elizabeth was found guilty of fraud in January. (Jeff Chiu/AP/Shutterstock)

Prior to her sentencing, about 130 people wrote letters that were submitted by Elizabeth’s legal team to Judge Edward J. Davila to ask for leniency in Elizabeth’s sentence, including Senator Cory Booker, who explained that he’d met the entrepreneur at a dinner event. “I firmly believe in the possibility of rehabilitation and in the power of redemption for anyone,” he wrote, according to the Law And Crime network. “I believe that Ms. Holmes has within her a sincere desire to help others, to be of meaningful service, and possesses the capacity to redeem herself.”

Elizabeth’s ex Sunny Balwaniwho co-founded and served as COO of Theranos, was also found guilty on 12 counts of fraud in July, per CNN. During Elizabeth’s trial, she spoke about her relationship with Sunny and claimed that he’d sexually assaulted her, but he has denied the allegations. He’s expected to be sentenced on December 7.

The Theranos downfall became a point of interest in a number of different pieces of media. An HBO documentary chronicling the company’s downfall was released in 2019 called The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley. A podcast called The Dropout inspired a Hulu series of the same name, which starred Amanda Seyfried as the Theranos founder. Amanda won a Primetime Emmy award for her portrayal of Elizabeth at the 2022 award show. The series was nominated for a total of six Emmys, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.

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