Elizabeth Holmes, the 39-year-old ex-CEO of Theranos, starts her 11-year prison term today.
Holmes and her former lover and business partner Balwani were found guilty of cheating dozens of prominent investors with their start-up. She was also fined $452 million.
The 39-year-old mother of two, who was once hailed as a Silicon Valley innovator, will now go to the prison camp in Bryan, Texas—a women-only facility about 100 miles from Houston. Balwani started his prison term last month in California.
Holmes will be under supervision for three years after her sentence.
According to BBC experts, she cannot file for bankruptcy and wipe out her debts. Prosecutors have likely started to take her assets, such as bank accounts and properties.
In January 2022, Holmes faced four charges—one for conspiring to defraud investors, and three for wire fraud against investors—for deceiving investors that she had created a groundbreaking medical device. However, a Wall Street Journal investigation exposed her claims as false.
The company had drawn investments from big names like Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family, and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
She was once praised as the next tech visionary on magazine covers and amassed huge amounts of investors’ money, but it all fell apart after the Wall Street Journal report showed that the machines did not work as advertised.
The prosecutors said that she lied to her investors from 2010 to 2015 by saying that Theranos Inc’s technology could run many tests on one drop of blood from a finger prick.
The 39-year-old denied the charges that she lied about Theranos and said the firm’s lab directors were responsible for test quality.
Before her jail sentence in November 2022, she apologised to the employees, investors, and patients of Theranos.
‘‘I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work. The people I tried to get involved with Theranos were the people I loved and respected the most. I am devastated by my failings. I’m so, so sorry. I gave everything I had to build our company and to save our company. I regret my failings with every cell in my body.”