Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, has been incarcerated at Texas prison

Holmes, middle, is escorted by prison officials (Image via Associated Press, photo by Michael Wyke).

BRYAN, Texas (mocsnews.com) — Elizabeth Holmes, billionaire-turned-fraud, has finally been incarcerated in a Texas women’s prison camp after a lengthy trial and an appeal that delayed her initial prison date. The Theranos CEO achieved notoriety for her too-good-to-be-true blood test that claimed to be able to detect any disease or virus in your system with a single drop of blood. 

The fraudulent CEO leaves behind two children: a son born in 2021, directly before her trial, and a daughter conceived during her trial. Holmes has been accused of using her daughter’s conception, which was announced just before her sentencing hearing in 2022, as a tool to delay her inevitable prison sentence.

Elizabeth Holmes at TechCrunch in 2014. “Elizabeth Holmes 2014” by Max Morse for TechCrunch is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Holmes’ company, Theranos, began as a way to avoid having lengthy injections and blood withdrawals for blood tests. Holmes received pushback from her professors at Stanford with one, a medical professor named Phyllis Gardner, telling her directly, “I don’t think your idea is going to work.” Nevertheless, she convinced Stanford’s dean of the School of Engineering to financially back her idea. 

Holmes at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, 2014. “Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos” by Kevin Krejci is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

From there, Holmes found a romantic partner in Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, and he would serve a vital role as her advisor even before he was given an official position at the company. The two co-lead Theranos for years until The Wall Street Journal published an article revealing the company’s corrupt practices and falsified testing. The article launched a series of publications that would systematically tear down every shred of Theranos’ tattered reputation. 

In 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Holmes and Balwani on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. This trial, which lasted until October 2022, saw Holmes and Balwani sentenced to 11 years, 3 months and 12 years, 11 months respectively. Their investors, notably including Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family, and James Mattis, were defrauded a combined $804 million.

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