Elizabeth Holmes gets bail extension one day before prison term start

Elizabeth Holmes gets bail extension one day before prison term start
Apr 2023

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes just got a little more freedom--a delay of her 11-year prison sentence, which was previously scheduled to start Thursday, April 27.

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On April 10, US District Judge Edward Davila denied her request to remain free as she pursued an appeal of her conviction. Davila ruled that her arguments for appealing the conviction did not raise a "substantial question of law or fact" and was unlikely to succeed. Thus, she was ordered to begin her prison term as scheduled.

Last year, Holmes was convicted on four of 11 fraud counts and Davila sentenced her to 11 years and three months in prison. He recommended she serve her time in a relatively cushy minimum-security women's prison camp in Bryan, Texas, which is outside Houston.

But on Tuesday, Holmes filed a motion with the 9th Circuit appeals court to remain free amid the appeals process. In her motion, she and her lawyers argued that her conviction relied on "prejudicial errors that warrant reversal and a new trial" and that Davila's denial of bail relied on "numerous, inexplicable errors." Those include referring to Holmes' "patient fraud convictions," despite the fact that she was acquitted on charges related to defrauding patients; the four counts on which she was convicted only relate to defrauding Theranos investors.

Still, her chances of staving off prison time much longer do not look rosy. Former Theranos President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who was convicted on 12 counts of fraud last year and sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison, tried the same legal maneuver. The 9th Circuit appeals court ultimately denied his bail request amid an appeal. He reported to a low-security federal prison in Los Angeles last week.