By Jody Godoy and Dan Levine
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – A California judge has sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes 11 ) Sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood-testing startup, which was once valued at $9 billion. Three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes 38 in January after a three-month trial.
Judge sets April date for Holmes’ surrender. Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her bail pending her appeal.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge before sentencing that the 18-year sentence would be “a statement of purpose Does not justify the means.”
But Holmes’ attorney, Kevin Downey, urged clemency for Holmes at the hearing, saying she was not like someone who committed a “magnificent crime.” out of greed.
In court papers Holmes seeks months of home confinement for 18 followed by community service, urging judge not to make her a “public zealot” martyr”. Claims its tiny blood testing machine is capable of performing a battery of tests from a few drops of blood. Prosecutors said the company secretly relied on other companies’ legacy machines to test patients.
Before she was sentenced, prosecutors had said the 11 -year sentence was necessary to deter Holmes and others from committing fraud.
Her crimes “undermined the trust and integrity upon which Silicon Valley’s startup economy rests,” they said.
According to court documents, the federal probation office recommended a nine-year sentence.
Theranos Inc, once valued at $9 billion, promises to revolutionize the way patients are diagnosed by replacing traditional labs with tiny machines envisioned for use in homes, pharmacies and even the battlefield.
Forbes called Sherlock Holmes 2015 the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire when she
and her stake in Theranos was worth $45 One hundred million U.S. dollars.
But the startup shut down after a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal2015 questioned its technology.
At trial, prosecutors said Holmes engaged in fraud by lying to investors about Theranos’ technology and financial health rather than bringing the company out of business.
Holmes testified in her own defense that she believed her statement was accurate at the time.
While she was convicted on four counts, Holmes was acquitted on four other counts alleging that she fraudulently paid for Theranos tests.
Davila rejected Holmes’ request to overturn her conviction, saying they were supported by evidence at trial.
Now that the judgment is in effect, Holmes can challenge those rulings and her sentence in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.