Founder of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, Loses Final Bid to Delay Prison Sentence

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, has lost her final bid to delay the start of her prison sentence of more than 11 years.[0] Holmes, who was convicted of four counts of defrauding investors in 2022, had requested to go to prison on May 30.[1] However, the judge who oversaw her trial, Edward Davila, did not immediately rule on the request.[0] Holmes had previously asked Davila to let her remain free until her appeal concludes.[2] In April, Davila rejected this request, but Holmes succeeded in delaying her incarceration under the appeals court’s rules.[3] Along with ordering Holmes to prison, Davila also ordered her and her former COO, Sunny Balwani, to repay $452m in restitution to investors.

Holmes founded Theranos, a blood-testing startup, in 2003, while she was a student at Stanford University.[4] The company raised $945m from investors and was valued at $9bn at its peak.[5] However, in 2015, a Wall Street Journal investigation alleged that the company’s blood-testing machine could not give accurate results and that it was instead using machines from other blood-testing companies.[4] The company was forced to close in 2018, and Holmes was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Sunny Balwani, the ex-Theranos executive and former partner of Holmes, was found guilty of deceiving investors and was given a sentence of almost 13 years in jail.[6] He began serving his sentence in April.[7] Besides their prison sentences, Holmes and Balwani have also been ordered to pay $452m in restitution to victims of their fraud and conspiracy at Theranos. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is entitled to receive nearly $125m in restitution from the two former Theranos executives.[8] Walgreens and Safeway, which struck deals with Theranos to use its technology in their stores, will receive $40m and $14.5m, respectively.[9]

0. “Elizabeth Holmes ordered to pay massive restitution over fraud” The Mercury News, 17 May. 2023,

1. “Elizabeth Holmes May Report to Prison Right After Memorial Day; Judge Orders $450M In Restitution” SFist, 17 May. 2023,

2. “Elizabeth Holmes loses final bid to delay imprisonment, proposes May 30 prison date” The Mercury News, 17 May. 2023,

3. “Elizabeth Holmes wants prison time to start May 30 after losing bid to stay out” Yahoo Finance, 17 May. 2023,

4. “A court denied Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ request to stay out of prison after her attorneys claimed there were ‘numerous, inexplicable errors’ in her trial” Yahoo Finance, 17 May. 2023,

5. “Elizabeth Holmes must report to prison by May 30” CNN, 17 May. 2023,

6. “Elizabeth Holmes can’t stay out of prison on appeal, court rules” CBS News, 17 May. 2023,

7. “Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes, Partner of SD Hotel Heir, Loses Bid to Stay Out of Prison” Times of San Diego, 17 May. 2023,

8. “Court Rejects Elizabeth Holmes’ Plea To Avoid Prison During Appeal” Forbes, 17 May. 2023,

9. “Time’s up for Elizabeth Holmes” TechCrunch, 17 May. 2023,