Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives with her family and partner Billy Evans to be sentenced on her convictions for defrauding investors in the blood testing startup at the federal courthouse in San Jose, California, U.S., November 18, 2022.
A federal judge on Friday sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood-testing startup that was once valued at $9 billion.
In San Jose, California, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Holmes, 38, on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy after a jury convicted her last January following a trial spanning three months. The prosecution had recommended a sentence of 15 years in prison, while the defense had urged the judge to impose no prison time.
Holmes, dressed in a dark blouse and black skirt, hugged her parents and her partner after the sentence was handed down.
During the sentencing hearing, Holmes cried as she said she was “devastated” by her failures and would have done many things differently if she had the chance.
“I have felt deep shame for what people went through because I failed them,” Holmes said.
Before handing down the sentence, Davila called the case “troubling on so many levels,” questioning what motivated Holmes, a “brilliant” entrepreneur, to misrepresent her company to investors.
“This is a fraud case where an exciting venture went forward with great expectations only to be dashed by untruths, misrepresentations, plain hubris and lies,” the judge said.
Her lawyers are expected to ask the judge to allow her to remain free on bail during her planned appeal. They are expected to appeal the judge’s decisions to uphold the jury’s conviction of Holmes as well as her sentence at the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk told Davila during the hearing that a 15-year sentence would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means.”
Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey sought home confinement, saying leniency was justified because unlike someone who committed a “great crime” she was not motivated by greed.
The federal probation office had recommended a 9-year prison sentence, according to court papers.