sunny.png
Monday November 28th, 2022 5:32PM

Elizabeth Holmes faces sentencing for her Theranos crimes

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

A federal judge was to decide Friday whether disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes should serve a lengthy prison sentence for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling bogus blood-testing technology.

Holmes’ sentencing in the same San Jose, California, courtroom where she was convicted on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in January marks another climactic moment in a saga that has been dissected in an HBO documentary and an award-winning Hulu series about her meteoric rise and mortifying downfall.

Theranos promised to deliver revolutionary technology that could scan for hundreds of diseases and other aliments with just a few drops of blood. But it never worked.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila will take center stage as he weighs the federal government’s recommendation to send the 38-year-old Holmes to federal prison for 15 years. That’s less than the maximum sentence of 20 years, but her legal team is asking for incarceration of no more than 18 months, preferably served in home confinement.

Her lawyers have argued that Holmes deserves more lenient treatment as a well-meaning entrepreneur who is now a devoted mother with another child on the way. Their arguments were supported by more than 130 letters submitted by family, friends and former colleagues praising Holmes.

A probation report also submitted to Davila recommended a nine-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors also want Holmes to pay $804 million in restitution. The amount covers most of the nearly $1 billion that Holmes raised from a list of sophisticated investors that included software magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Walton family behind Walmart.

While wooing investors, Holmes leveraged a high-powered Theranos board that included former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who testified against her during her trial, and two former secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz, whose son submitted a statement blasting Holmes for concocting a scheme that played Shultz "for the fool.”

Davila’s judgment – and Holmes' reporting date for a potential stint in prison — could be affected by her second pregnancy in two years. After giving birth to a son shortly before her trial started last year, Holmes became pregnant at some point while free on bail this year.

Although her lawyers didn’t mention the pregnancy in an 82-page memo submitted to Davila last week, the pregnancy was confirmed in a letter from her current partner, William “Billy” Evans, that urged the judge to be merciful.

In that 12-page letter, which included pictures of Holmes doting on their 1-year-old son, Evans mentioned that Holmes participated in a Golden Gate Bridge swimming event earlier this year while pregnant. He also noted that Holmes suffered through a case of COVID-19 in August while pregnant. Evans did not disclose Holmes’ due date in his letter.

If Holmes' pregnancy plays a role in reducing or qualifying her sentence, the decision could prove controversial. A 2019 study found that more than 1,000 pregnant women entered federal or state prisons over a 12-month study period; 753 of them gave birth in custody.

According to a 2016 survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than half of women entering federal prison — 58% — reported being mothers of minor children.

Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who is now a defense attorney, predicted that Davila’s sentencing decision won’t be swayed by the pregnancy. But Levin expects the judge to allow her to remain free until after the baby is born.

“She will be no more of a flight risk after she is sentenced than she was while awaiting sentencing,” Levin said. “We have to temper our sentences with some measure of humanity.”

The pregnancy makes it more likely Davila will be criticized no matter what sentence he imposes, predicted Amanda Kramer, another former federal prosecutor.

“There is a pretty healthy debate about what kind of sentence is needed to effect general deterrence to send a message to others who are thinking of crossing that line from sharp salesmanship into material misrepresentation,” Kramer said.

Federal prosecutor Robert Leach declared that Holmes deserves a severe punishment for engineering a scam that he described as one of the most egregious white-collar crimes ever committed in Silicon Valley. In a scathing 46-page memo, Leach told the judge he has an opportunity to send a message that curbs the hubris and hyperbole unleashed by the tech boom.

Holmes “preyed on hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed healthcare,” Leach wrote. "And through her deceit, she attained spectacular fame, adoration and billions of dollars of wealth.”

Even though Holmes was acquitted by a jury on four counts of fraud and conspiracy tied to patients who took Theranos blood tests, Leach also asked Davila to factor in the health threats posed by Holmes’ conduct.

Holmes’ lawyer Kevin Downey painted her as a selfless visionary who spent 14 years of her life trying to revolutionize health care.

Although evidence submitted during her trial showed the blood tests produced wildly unreliable results that could have steered patients toward the wrong treatments, her lawyers asserted that Holmes never stopped trying to perfect the technology until Theranos collapsed in 2018.

They also pointed out that Holmes never sold any of her Theranos shares — a stake valued at $4.5 billion in 2014, when Holmes was being hailed as the next Steve Jobs on the covers of business magazines.

Defending herself against criminal charges has left Holmes with “substantial debt from which she is unlikely to recover,” Downey wrote, suggesting that she is unlikely to pay any restitution that Davila might order as part of her sentence.

“Holmes is not a danger to society,” Downey wrote.

Downey also asked Davila to consider the alleged sexual and emotional abuse Holmes suffered while she was involved romantically with Ramesh “Sunny" Balwani, who became a Theranos investor, top executive and eventually an accomplice in her crimes.

Balwani, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7 after being convicted in a July trial on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Health - Women's health, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Top progressive Jayapal passes on Dem leadership race
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has taken herself out of the running for Democratic leadership in the next Congress
9:30AM ( 1 minute ago )
Elizabeth Holmes faces sentencing for her Theranos crimes
A federal judge on Friday will decide whether disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes should serve a lengthy prison sentence for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling a bogus blood-testing technology
9:20AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Soccer-mad Germans turning their backs on World Cup
Normally when the World Cup comes around, Germans proudly fly their country’s flag and enthusiastically back their team
9:10AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
North Korea test-fires ICBM with range to strike entire US
North Korea has fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed near Japanese waters in its second major weapons test this month that showed a potential ability to launch nuclear strikes on all of the U.S. mainland
8:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
More Twitter workers flee after Musk's 'hardcore' ultimatum
Twitter is continuing to bleed engineers and other workers after its new owner Elon Musk gave them a choice: either pledge to “hardcore” work or resign with severance pay
7:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Schools struggle to staff up for youth mental health crisis
Despite an influx of COVID-19 relief money, school districts across the country have struggled to staff up to address students’ mental health needs that have only grown since the pandemic hit
7:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Where's Putin? Leader leaves bad news on Ukraine to others
President Vladimir Putin wasn’t present when his top military officials announced on television that Russia was withdrawing from the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine
2:14AM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest | UN Climate Summit
EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said Friday that a proposal made by the bloc on funding for loss and damage and mitigation is “a final offer” that seeks to “find a compromise” between nations as negotiators try to find a way forward at the U.N. climate talks in Egypt
2:13AM ( 7 hours ago )
Alabama calls off execution after problem with inserting IV
Alabama has called off the scheduled execution of a man convicted in the 1988 murder-for-hire slaying of a preacher’s wife after the state had trouble establishing venous access and the state faced a midnight deadline to get the execution underway
1:32AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online National News
USDA program keeps extra COVID-era money for fruits, veggies
U.S. agriculture officials have proposed changes to the federal program that helps pay the grocery bills for low-income mothers and young children
4:18PM ( 17 hours ago )
Indian Health Service steps up COVID, other vaccine push
The Indian Health Service says all tribal members covered by the federal agency will be offered a vaccine at every appointment, when appropriate
3:50PM ( 17 hours ago )
'West Wing' cast urges struggling Americans to seek help
As more Americans struggle with depression and anxiety, the cast of “The West Wing” teamed up with the Biden administration on Thursday to share a simple message: you are not alone
2:22PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Health
War, North Korea missile test loom over Asia-Pacific summit
Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Bangkok appear likely to issue a statement condemning Russia's war on Ukraine
8:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
Global stocks mixed after Wall St falls on rate hike worries
Global stocks are mixed after a Federal Reserve official suggested U.S. interest rates might have to be raised higher than expected to cool inflation
4:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
War, North Korea missile tests loom over Asia-Pacific summit
Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Bangkok have denounced a North Korean missile test Friday in an emergency gathering convened by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris
4:16AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
GM CEO Barra says electric vehicles to be profitable by 2025
General Motors expects its portfolio of electric vehicles to turn a profit in North America by 2025
7:40PM ( 13 hours ago )
Macy's, Kohl's, Gap point to cloudy holiday retail picture
Results from Macy’s, Kohl’s and Gap have further underscored the cloudy picture for U.S. retailers heading into the start of the holiday season
5:59PM ( 15 hours ago )
Commanders sued by DC for cheating fans out of ticket money
The Washington Commanders have been sued again by the District of Columbia
5:11PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Senate: Migrants subject to unnecessary medical procedures
A Senate investigation has found that U.S. immigration authorities didn’t do enough to adequately vet or monitor a gynecologist in rural Georgia who performed unnecessary medical procedures on detained migrant women without their consent
7:59AM ( 2 days ago )
Judge overturns Georgia's ban on abortion after 6 weeks
Georgia’s ban on abortion starting around six weeks into a pregnancy has been overturned by a judge
1:07PM ( 2 days ago )
In election, support for abortion rights was about much more
Support for abortion rights drove women to the polls in Tuesday’s elections
7:16AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Women's health
Soccer-mad Germans turning their backs on World Cup
Normally when the World Cup comes around, Germans proudly fly their country’s flag and enthusiastically back their team
9:10AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Coastal grandmother vibe endures for holiday gifting
TikToker Lex Nicoleta coined the term “coastal grandmother” in a video that has racked up thousands of views
9:00AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Russian strikes force Ukraine to face hours-long power cuts
Ukraine’s electricity grid chief is warning of hours-long power outages as Russia zeroed in on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with renewed artillery and missile attacks
8:57AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Qatar bans sale of beer at World Cup stadiums in about-face
Qatar has banned the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums, It was a sudden U-turn on the deal Qatar made to secure the soccer tournament only two days before the opening game
8:56AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Crunch time for UN climate talks as Friday deadline looms
Global climate talks are headed to crunch time on the final scheduled day of negotiations
8:51AM ( 41 minutes ago )