On April 27, Elizabeth Holmes will commence her more than an 11-year prison sentence, as a federal judge has denied her request to remain free while she appeals her conviction for four counts of fraud and conspiracy connected to the failed blood-testing startup of Theranos.
Despite US district court judge Edward Davila acknowledging that Holmes is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the public, he determined that her appeal is improbable to lead to a reversal of the verdict or a new trial, which are necessary for a defendant to stay out of custody after being found guilty.
Although prosecutors asserted that Holmes was a flight risk, citing her partner’s purchase of a one-way ticket to Mexico shortly before the verdict was announced, Davila accepted Holmes’s claim that she had no intention of leaving the country, though he criticized her carelessness in failing to cancel the travel plans.
In their appeal to the federal ninth circuit court of appeals, Holmes’s attorneys have raised several evidentiary and procedural concerns about the trial. Nonetheless, according to Davila’s opinion, even if the appeals court agrees that the lower court made errors, the issues are insufficiently “substantial” to warrant a reversal or a new trial.
Holmes’s impending imprisonment signifies an extraordinary downfall for the one-time magnate of Silicon Valley. After dropping out of college, she was lauded as a visionary for her pledge to transform blood testing with technology that could administer hundreds of tests on a single drop of blood. The startup received hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and reached a $9 billion valuation before the Wall Street Journal’s investigative reporting exposed that the underlying technology was ineffective.
Furthermore, Sunny Balwani, Holmes’s former business and romantic partner, must also surrender to jail this month since the ninth circuit court rejected his request to stay out of custody while appealing. Balwani was found guilty on twelve counts of fraud and conspiracy and given a prison sentence of over 12 years.
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