Elizabeth Holmes Will Start 11-Year Prison Sentence on May 30 After Losing Her Bid to Remain Free

SAN FRANCISCO—Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes will remain free through the Memorial Day weekend before surrendering to authorities on May 30 to begin her more than 11-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in a blood-testing scam.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila set Holmes’ revised prison-reporting date after her lawyers proposed it in a Wednesday filing. It came after a federal appeals court late Tuesday rejected Holmes’ bid to remain out of prison while she attempts to overturn her January 2022 conviction on four felony counts of fraud and conspiracy.

The punishment also includes a $452 million restitution bill that Davila ordered Holmes to pay in a separate ruling issued late Tuesday.

Holmes’ lawyers asked Davila to approve the May 30 prison reporting time to her two weeks to sort out several issues, including child care for her 1-year-old son William and 3-month-old daughter Invicta. Holmes had originally been ordered to begin her prison sentence on April 27, but won a reprieve with a last-minute legal maneuver that gave her more time with her children.

Holmes, 39, became pregnant with William shortly before the start of her high-profile trial in September 2021 and became pregnant with Invicta shortly after she was convicted of crimes that could have resulted in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

The father of both children is William “Billy” Evans, whom she met after breaking up with her former romantic and business partner, Ramesh “Sunny,” Balwani, who began serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence last month in Southern California. Balwani, 57, was convicted for 12 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy committed while he was Theranos’ chief operating officer and living with Holmes.

In Wednesday’s filing, Holmes’ lawyers didn’t disclose the location of the prison that she has been assigned to serve her sentence. But they noted she has to prepare to travel outside of California, where she has been living in the San Diego area while free on bail. Davila has recommended that Holmes be imprisoned in Bryan, Texas.

When Holmes is finally incarcerated, it will bring down the curtain on a saga that cast a bright light on a dark chapter in Silicon Valley that brought her fame and fortune before her scandalous downfall.

After dropping out of Stanford University in 2003 to found Theranos while still a teenager, Holmes promised to revolutionize health care with a technology that she promised would be able to scan for hundreds of diseases and other potential problems with just a few drops of blood. The idea helped her raising nearly $1 billion from sophisticated investors that included Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who is owed $125 million under the restitution order.

But Theranos’ blood tests never came close to working the way Holmes had boasted with the support of Balwani, resulting in the company’s collapse and a tale that has been the subject of a book, “Bad Blood,” an HBO documentary, “The Inventor,” and a Hulu mini-series, ”The Dropout,” which won Amanda Seyfried an Emmy in the starring role.

By Michael Liedtke

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