Elizabeth Holmes’s lawyers ask for her not to be sentenced to prison

Theranos Founder Fraud Trial
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at federal court in San Jose, Calif., Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Jeff Chiu/AP

Elizabeth Holmes’s lawyers ask for her not to be sentenced to prison

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The lawyers of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes have asked a judge not to sentence her to prison ahead of her sentencing scheduled for next week.

Holmes’s lawyers have asked that Holmes receive 18 months in home confinement followed by community service just days before her sentencing before U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California. The lawyers have called their client a “singular human with much to give” and argue that prison time is not necessary, according to Reuters.

“No defendant should be made a martyr to public passion,” the lawyers wrote. “We ask that the court consider, as it must, the real person, the real company and the complex circumstances surrounding the offense.”

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Over 130 of Holmes’s friends, family, investors, and former Theranos employees have submitted letters to Davila to ask for a lighter sentence for her. Billy Evans, Holmes’s partner, called her “honest, humble, selfless, and kind beyond what most people have ever experienced.”

In January, Holmes, 38, was found guilty on four charges of defrauding investors, and she faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution for each count. The former Theranos CEO allegedly conned investors, business partners, and countless patients into believing her now-defunct company invented a better way to test drops of blood, falsely claiming that it had the technology to scan for hundreds of health problems using a finger prick.

Holmes’s original sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 17 before it was delayed to Nov. 18 after Holmes’s defense team asked for a new trial in September over a claim that a key witness visited Holmes at her home and made statements that undermined his testimony. Davila rejected the request for a new trial on Monday.

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Ramesh Balwani, the former president of Theranos, was convicted in July of defrauding investors and patients about the company. As of Friday, his sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7.

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