Elizabeth Holmes, a former biotech entrepreneur and media darling, was sentenced this past Friday to a stint of 11 years in prison after knowingly tricking investors into thinking she had created a method to revolutionize blood testing.
Holmes — who previously ran Theranos, a fraudulent biotechnology company — was officially issued a sentence of 135 months in prison. The Department of Justice had pressed for the disgraced founder to get over 15 years in prison and be made to issue restitution to the tune of $800 million.
“Considering the extensiveness of Holmes’ fraud … the sentencing of 180 months’ imprisonment would reflect the seriousness of the offenses, provide for just punishment for the offenses, and deter Holmes and others,” stated federal prosecutors.
While currently pregnant with her second kid, Holmes was officially convicted on four counts of wire fraud this past January in the wake of a multi-month-long trial. She currently has 14 days to appeal the conviction, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The downfall of Holmes takes place in the wake of her deceiving her investors into thinking that her company possesses a wholely portable blood analyzer that could carry out comprehensive blood tests with just a few drops of blood. The now-fallen empire was once responsible for holding a valuation of $9 billion, and in 2014, she was spotlighted by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
— Forbes (@Forbes) September 30, 2014
Holmes, as a well-known entrepreneur, was able to bring in quite a few high-profile political and business heads to sponsor her firm — this group included former Secretary of State George Shultz and former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Holmes also sported very close ties to the members of the Clinton family and even chose to host a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton back in 2016.
At the trial, the legal team for Holmes tried to argue that “she was merely a young, naïve, ambitious founder who relied too much on others who gave her bad advice,” and made the claim that she had absolutely no experience, as reported by The New York Times. Holmes also tried to hurl accusations at her ex-boyfriend and Theranos’ ex-president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani of abuse despite the evidence seen in the pairs text messages showing they were actually just a loving relationship.