Skip to main content

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to over 11 years in prison


The founder and former CEO of Theranos will be spending time behind bars for defrauding investors.

Share this story

Elizabeth Holmes on a blue background with red streaks
Illustration by Laura Normand / The Verge

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to 135 months, or just over 11 years, in prison, according to journalist John Carreyrou. She will have to report to prison on April 27th, 2023, and will have an additional three years of supervised release once she’s out, according to Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Keenan.

Judge Edward Davila, who has overseen the case, declared that the charges she had been found guilty of made her responsible for defrauding 10 victims out of $121 million, according to The New York Times’ Erin Griffith. Davila said that Holmes’ refusal to accept responsibility for the fraud counted against her in his sentencing decision, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A jury found Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud earlier this year. In the weeks leading up to the former Theranos CEO’s sentencing, prosecutors asked the judge to give her 15 years of prison time and to pay victims more than $800 million. On the day of the trial, the government argued Holmes’ actions put patients in harm’s way, according to the WSJ.

Meanwhile, Holmes’ lawyers filed an 82-page document arguing why she should get a much lighter punishment — 18 months of house arrest and community service, at most — and provided well over 100 letters written in support of the founder.

Holmes led a company that promised to revolutionize the medical industry by running over 240 tests on a single drop of blood, where traditional panels required much larger samples.

But it turned out that the company’s tech didn’t work and gave patients inaccurate results. (Holmes was found not guilty on two counts of defrauding patients and one count of conspiracy to defraud patients.) The trial mainly hinged on whether Holmes knew she was giving out false information. In announcing his decision, Davila cited texts between Holmes and Sunny Balwani, former chief operating officer and president of Theranos, as proof that Holmes conspired to defraud investors, according to NBC News’ Scott Budman.

Balwani was also found guilty in a separate trial: 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Unlike Holmes, Balwani was found to have misled both investors and patients. He is set to be sentenced on December 7th.

Theranos’s invention never would have worked. Here’s why.