Elizabeth Holmes Appeals Conviction and Delays Prison Sentence Again

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, has delayed the start of her 11-year prison sentence once again by filing an appeal.[0] In her appeal, Holmes’ legal team argued that her conviction was the result of “prejudicial errors that warrant reversal and a new trial.” They also claimed that Judge Davila’s denial of her release pending appeal “reflects numerous, inexplicable errors,” including referring to Holmes’ “patient fraud convictions,” of which she was actually acquitted.

Holmes was convicted last year on four counts of defrauding investors, and in November, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced her to 11 years and three months in prison.[1] Earlier this month, her request to remain free while she appeals her conviction was denied by Judge Davila, setting her up to report to prison on April 27.[2]

However, Holmes has now filed a motion with the 9th Circuit appeals court to remain free amid the appeals process.[3] According to rules in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, “If the appellant is on bail at the time the motion is filed in this Court, that bail will remain in effect until the Court rules on the motion.”[4] Holmes’ prison reporting date has been automatically postponed as she was out on bail when the motion was filed.[5]

Holmes’ legal team has also pointed to “numerous, inexplicable errors” in Judge Davila’s decision earlier this month ordering Holmes to prison because she failed to raise any substantial question of law or fact, and was thus unlikely to succeed in getting her verdict overturned in a new trial.

Holmes dropped out of Stanford at the age of 19 to focus full-time on Theranos, a health tech startup which claimed to have invented technology that could accurately test for a range of conditions using just a few drops of blood.[6] At its peak, the company was valued at some $9 billion, making Holmes a paper billionaire.[7] However, whistleblowers from within Theranos eventually tipped journalists at The Wall Street Journal in 2015, claiming that the company’s blood-testing technology didn’t work at all.[8]

Holmes’ ex-boyfriend and Theranos COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is also going to prison over the fraud at Theranos, tried the same legal maneuver to defer his March 16 prison reporting date.[9] But the appeals court turned down his request, and Balwani reported to a low-security federal prison in Los Angeles to begin serving his 13-year sentence last week.[10]

Holmes is required by federal law to serve a minimum of 9.5 years in prison.[11] Davila has recommended that Holmes serve her time at a minimum-security prison camp 100 miles from Houston, but the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has the final say on the location of her incarceration.[12]

0. “Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes delays prison by filing another appeal” The Independent, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/theranos-elizabeth-holmes-prison-appeal-b2327575.html

1. “No prison yet for Elizabeth Holmes following last-ditch appeal” CNBC, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/26/no-prison-yet-for-elizabeth-holmes-following-last-ditch-appeal.html

2. “Elizabeth Holmes Appeals ‘Unjust’ Conviction” PEOPLE, 20 Apr. 2023, https://people.com/crime/elizabeth-holmes-appeals-conviction-claims-prosecutors-parroted-public-narrative

3. “Elizabeth Holmes gets bail extension one day before prison term start” Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2023, https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/04/elizabeth-holmes-to-remain-free-for-now-prison-time-delayed-amid-appeal

4. “Elizabeth Holmes is not going to prison – for the moment” The Register, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.theregister.com/2023/04/26/elizabeth_holmes_appeal/

5. “Elizabeth Holmes isn’t going to prison Thursday after all” Business Insider, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/theranos-elizabeth-holmes-delays-going-to-prison-last-minute-appeal-2023-4

6. “Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes isn’t headed to jail tomorrow after all” Yahoo Life, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/theranos-founder-elizabeth-holmes-isnt-214605531.html

7. “Elizabeth Holmes delays start of prison sentence with last-minute appeal” Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News, 27 Apr. 2023, https://whdh.com/news/elizabeth-holmes-delays-start-of-prison-sentence-with-last-minute-appeal/

8. “Elizabeth Holmes Won’t Report to Prison Today After All” Gizmodo, 27 Apr. 2023, https://gizmodo.com/elizabeth-holmes-theranos-tech-startup-1850381871

9. “Elizabeth Holmes made an eleventh hour attempt to delay her prison sentence” Quartz, 27 Apr. 2023, https://qz.com/elizabeth-holmes-made-an-eleventh-hour-attempt-to-delay-1850381690

10. “”Pretty person” Elizabeth Holmes still avoiding prison” Boing Boing, 26 Apr. 2023, https://boingboing.net/2023/04/26/pretty-person-elizabeth-holmes-still-avoiding-prison.html

11. “Elizabeth Holmes’ last-ditch bid will keep her from going to prison Thursday” The Mercury News, 26 Apr. 2023, https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/04/26/elizabeth-holmes-last-ditch-bid-will-keep-her-from-going-to-prison-thursday

12. “Elizabeth Holmes again pleads with judge to reverse her conviction or reduce her 11-year sentence” Daily Mail, 19 Apr. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11991327/Elizabeth-Holmes-pleads-judge-reverse-conviction-reduce-11-year-sentence.html