Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for defrauding investors with her Silicon Valley start-up firm.
Holmes, 38, is currently pregnant with her second child. She broke down in court Friday after being sentenced to just over 11 years in federal prison over the Theranos case. Her attorneys say she now faces the “terrifying prospect” of being separated from her toddler and newborn during her incarceration.
Her lawyers had asked for leniency, presenting her as a devoted friend who cares for a young child and has a second child on the way.
Elizabeth Holmes has been given time until April 27, 2023 to surrender. This means she will be allowed to deliver her baby before her prison sentence begins.
Although Holmes as not yet revealed her due date, reporters said she looked visibly pregnant in the San Jose court where she was sentenced Friday. She appeared to be six or seven months along, reporters said, according to Mercury News.
Holmes became a star of Silicon Valley when she said her now defunct start-up was perfecting an easy-to-use test kit that could carry out a wide range of medical diagnostics with just a few drops of blood.
She sold investors on the idea that her invention would disrupt medical practice, replacing expensive lab tests with her cheap kits.
But prosecutors said Holmes knew her device was not producing accurate and reliable results, yet induced dozens of investors to contribute nearly one billion dollars, all without ever achieving meaningful revenue.
Holmes’s meteoric rise and fast demise has been the subject of books, movies and a TV series that framed her story as a cautionary tale on the excesses of the tech industry that blindly followed a charismatic founder.(With inputs from AFP)