Pregnant Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years on fraud charges

Elizabeth Holmes attends the Time 100 Gala in 2015
Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11 years in prison, and court filings revealed she is expecting her second child. Pic credit: © Callahan/AcePictures

Elizabeth Holmes has been handed a prison sentence of 11 years on charges of fraud and conspiracy. Court filings also revealed that she is currently pregnant with her second child.

Holmes previously gave birth to a son in 2021 after she was indicted. This pregnancy, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, delayed her trial to August 31, 2021.

She reportedly became pregnant for the second time in January of this year after she was first convicted of her crimes. The baby will be the second child she shares with her partner, Billy Evans.

The revelation of her pregnancy coincided with her prison sentence. She was ultimately found guilty on three charges of wire fraud and one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Given the charges, she could have faced up to 20 years in prison. However, the judge ruled that she would spend 11 years, or 135 months, in prison.

Holmes was also fined $400 and will face three years of supervised release once she completes her prison term. Her rise and fall as a CEO has captured much media attention and even sparked a Hulu series, The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried.

What did Elizabeth Holmes do?

At one point, Holmes was the wealthy CEO of a health technology company, Theranos. Holmes first founded the business in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University and appointing her then-boyfriend, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, as its President.

For a time, Theranos’ technology and procedures were believed to be revolutionary and groundbreaking. The company claimed its technology could diagnose various diseases through a blood test.

Allegedly, a finger prick and a minuscule drop of blood were all these tests needed to diagnose cancer or high cholesterol. Touting these promises to revolutionize the healthcare industry completely, Holmes managed to sell the idea to private investors, resulting in Theranos growing in value to $10 billion.

However, the technology could not do what Holmes and Balwani promised. The 2018 indictment alleged that Holmes and Balwani knew that they could not deliver on their promises and that their product was not capable of doing what they said it did.

Yet, they continued to sell the idea and the product to investors, doctors, and patients. They misrepresented the product to investors, advertised their product on false claims, and provided doctors and patients with inaccurate and unreliable tests.

As a result, both Holmes and Balwani were charged with defrauding doctors, patients, and investors with false claims and omitting important information.

Holmes and her family addressed the court

Before her sentencing, Holmes was given a chance to directly address the court. She gave a short statement to the court expressing regret for her actions.

In tears, she took responsibility for Theranos. She expressed love for her team and the business, which she called her “life’s work.”

She claimed that she and her team at Theranos had desperately wanted to change the world. However, it failed because she had tried to realize her dreams too quickly.

Meanwhile, the Holmes family also addressed the court before the sentencing. Holmes’ partner, parents, and brother wrote letters for Holmes’ defense and begged the judge for lenient sentencing.

The letters pointed out Holmes’s youth and claimed her doings were simply the result of her passion for the project. Her parents and brother also cast the blame on Balwani, who was found guilty of 12 counts of fraud. He is due to be sentenced on December 7.

While Holmes was sentenced to 11 years in prison, the judge gave her until April 23, 2023, to report to prison and begin her sentence. This means she can give birth to her child before her sentence begins.

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