American CEO Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11.25 years in prison and three years of supervised release for defrauding investors in the failed blood testing company Theranos valued at $US9bn. It is reported that Ms. Holmes while crying through most of her speech told the court that she regretted her failings and having failed the employees, investors, and patients she worked so hard to serve.
In January 2022, Ms. Holmes was found guilty on four of eleven charges of defrauding in a 15-week trial in San Jose, California. Her crimes according to US law were; conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud and faced the prosecutors’ 15-year sentence request and a penalty of US$250k for each of the four counts. The woman who was famed as ‘the next Steve Jobs’ will begin serving her sentence on April 27, 2023, barely 10 years after her debut.
The U.S. federal judge finally passed on Friday what appears a lenient sentence to what was earlier predicted. Critics following the trial are accusing Holmes of casting herself as a stigmatized Silicon Valley scapegoat who overcame an abusive relationship to become a loving mother in an effort to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
In July, Holmes’ romantic partner and Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, was found guilty on all 12 charges that he faced in the case. The man who was also accused of abuse during Holmes’ court hearing, now awaits sentencing for two counts of conspiracy and 10 of wire fraud next month.
Internationally acclaimed lawyers are alleged to have hailed the ruling saying the US judicial system has started clamping down on investment frauds in a sector that has lacked accountability, with high-level convictions being almost non-existent.