Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison
Defamed Founder and CEO of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison on Friday for defrauding investors in the company. The Theranos failed startup promised to revolutionise blood testing, but instead branded Holmes a symbol of Silicon Valley ambition gone awry.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila handed down a sentence that was harsher than what her defence team had asked for but less than the 15 years that federal prosecutors had demanded. Davila is the mother of a one-year-old son and is expecting another child.
Holmes, the company’s CEO for its entire tumultuous 15-year existence, was found guilty of participating in a scheme in January. This scheme centred on the company’s claims that it had created a medical device that could detect a wide variety of diseases and conditions using only a few drops of blood. Her assertions, however, were untrue and the technology never did work.
The judge said Theranos’ hopes were destroyed by “misrepresentations, hubris, and just plain lies.”
“This case is so troubling on so many levels,” he stated. “What was it that caused Ms. Holmes to make the decisions she did? Was there a loss of a moral compass?”
Once upon a time, Holmes’s rapid ascent made the front pages of business publications, where she was hailed as the next Steve Jobs. And her fraud attracted a roster of high-net-worth investors that included software billionaire Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and the Walton family, who founded Walmart.
She broke down in tears as she told the judge she was sorry.
Holmes said, “I regret my failings with every cell of my body,”