Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Prison

Elizabeth Holmes has been given more than 11 years in prison.

On Friday, November 18, US District Judge Edward Davila sentenced the disgraced Theranos founder and CEO to 135 months in federal prison after defrauding financiers with the controversial blood testing start-up.

Once hailed a Silicon Valley superstar and the youngest self-made female billionaire, the 38-year-old was convicted in January on four counts of fraud after jurors determined that she greatly exaggerated Theranos' financial performance to investors and purposefully misled consumers by claiming the company's Edison machine could diagnose medical conditions with a small blood sample. That said, they found her not guilty on four other charges and were unable to reach a verdict on three more.

According to the New York Times, the diagnostics company was once valued at $9 billion and had a number of high-profile investors such as Larry Ellison and the Walton family, who lost approximately $121 million thanks to Holmes. She will be required to repay the amount in some capacity at a later date.

However, Holmes also has her fair share of supporters. On the heels of the verdict, over 130 people wrote to Judge Davila asking for clemency, with many arguing that she's a young mother who's currently expecting her second child with partner Billy Evans.

The subject of HBO's 2019 documentary The Inventor, Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos, which she operated with ex-business partner and lover Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who will be also be sentenced on fraud charges next month. The saga was also turned into a 2022 Hulu miniseries starring Amanda Seyfried called The Dropout.

“I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work,” Holmes reportedly told the court during her sentencing hearing. “I am devastated by my failings.”

She added, "I regret my failings with every cell of my body," she continued.

Holmes is required to surrender on April 27, 2023.

Photo via Getty / Lisa Lake