A former US biotech celebrity, Elizabeth Holmes is scheduled to report to jail today to start serving an 11-year sentence for scamming investors with her Silicon Valley startup company Theranos.
According to BBC, the entrepreneur was sentenced to more than 11 years in pr!son and must repay $452 million to dozens of prominent investors whom she and her former business partner Ramesh Sunny Balwani cheated.
The mother of two, 39-year-old Holmes, is scheduled to arrive today at the all-female pr!son camp in Bryan, Texas, about 100 miles outside of Houston.
According to CNN, Ramesh Sunny Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and former chief operating officer of Theranos, was also found guilty of fraud and reported to pr!son in California last month to start serving his term.
She won’t be able to just file for bankruptcy and get rid of her debts, experts told BBC. Seizing her assets, including cash in the bank and real estate, has likely already started on the part of the prosecution.
Theranos’ founder was found guilty on four counts in January 2022 for deceiving investors over a 15-year period that she had created a ground-breaking medical technology before the business failed due to a Wall Street Journal investigation.
Notably, prominent businessmen including Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family, and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos invested in the company. Even magazine covers heralded her as the next digital visionary, and she amassed mountains of investor money.
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However, everything fell apart when Wall Street Journal research proved that robots could not perform as promised. She allegedly misled investors between 2010 and 2015 by claiming that Theranos Inc.’s technology could do numerous tests with just one drop of blood from a finger prick.
In the end, Theranos was shut down in September 2018. Rupert Murdoch has demanded payment in full for the $125 million he put into her unsuccessful start-up.
Despite being accused of lying about Theranos, Ms. Holmes maintained that the company’s lab directors were in charge of test quality in her plea of not guilty. She expressed her regret to Theranos’ staff members, investors, and clients before it was revealed that she would be sentenced in November 2022.
Recently, The Associated Press shared a Tweet related to Elizabeth Holmes is in custody at a Texas pr!son to begin her 11-year sentence:
BREAKING: Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is in custody at a Texas prison to begin her 11-year sentence for defrauding investors in a blood testing scam. She lost a bid to delay her sentence while she appeals her conviction. https://t.co/tLuPoJYS1w
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 30, 2023
”I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work. The people I tried to get involved with Theranos were the people I loved and respected the most. I am devastated by my failings. I’m so, so sorry. I gave everything I had to build our company and to save our company. I regret my failings with every cell in my body.”
At the age of 19, Ms. Holmes started Theranos in 2003. Her net worth was reported by Forbes magazine to be $4.5 billion in 2015. The company had formerly been valued at $9 billion.
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