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Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years in prison | Business and Economic News

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years in prison | Business and Economic News

The founder of Theranos was convicted of defrauding three investors and one count of conspiracy.

A California judge has sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood testing company.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Holmes on one count of defrauding three investors and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January after a trial that lasted three months.

The judge set Holmes’ surrender date for April. His lawyers will ask the judge to release him on bail in the appeal.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before sentencing that the 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends do not justify the means.”

But Holmes’ lawyer, Kevin Downey, pleaded for calm during the hearing, saying that unlike someone who committed a “major crime”, he was not motivated by greed.

Holmes asked in court documents for a lighter sentence of 18 months in prison, followed by community service, asking the judge not to make him a “martyr of public passion.”

Falsifying claims

Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos’ technology and finances, including saying it was capable of making a miniaturized blood-testing machine from a few drops of blood. The company secretly relied on conventional machines from other companies to test patients, prosecutors said.

Before his sentencing, prosecutors said the 15-year sentence was necessary to deter Holmes and others from fraud.

His crimes damaged the trust and integrity on which Silicon Valley’s startup economy rests, they said.

According to court documents, the federal probation office recommended a nine-year prison sentence.

Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos Inc promised to revolutionize how patients receive diagnoses by replacing traditional labs with tiny machines intended for use in homes, pharmacies and even on the battlefield.

Forbes named Holmes the youngest self-made female billionaire in 2014 when Holmes was 30 years old and her stake in Theranos was valued at $4.5 billion.

But the startup collapsed in 2015 after a series of Wall Street Journal articles questioned its technology.

At trial, prosecutors said Holmes defrauded investors by lying about Theranos’ technology and finances instead of letting the company fail.

Holmes testified in his own defensesaying he believed his statements were accurate at the time.

Although convicted of four counts, Holmes was acquitted of four other counts of defrauding patients who paid for Theranos tests.

Davila denied Holmes’ requests to overturn his convictions, saying they were supported by the evidence at trial.

Now that he has been sentenced, Holmes can challenge those rulings and his sentence in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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