Prosecutors push 15 years in prison for Theranos CEO Holmes

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Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence disgraced Theranos CE0 Elizabeth Holmes to 15 years in prison, arguing that she deserves a long prison term because her massive scheme has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from investors by falsely convincing them that her company had developed a revolutionary massacre. test device.

Calling the case “one of the most substantial white-collar crimes that Silicon Valley or any other district has seen,” prosecutors vehemently rejected the defense attorneys’ characterization that Holmes had been unfairly victimized, in part through media coverage.

Holmes will appear on November 18 for a conviction in federal court in San Jose, California, nearly a year after she was convicted of three counts of telefraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.

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“She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors,” US Attorney General Robert S. Leach wrote in a 46-page letter filed Friday. “Elizabeth Holmes’s crimes didn’t fail, they lied – lying in the most serious context, where everyone needed her to tell the truth.”

Holmes’ lawyers filed an 82-page document late Thursday calling for a lenient sentence of no more than 18 months, saying her reputation had been permanently destroyed, making her a “caricature to be mocked and vilified” .

In addition to requesting that Holmes receive a long prison term, prosecutors demanded that the 38-year-old pay $803,840,309 in damages for her role in the year-long plan that made her one of the most respected and immensely wealthy entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and the United States made. United States.

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“She chased the hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed healthcare. She took advantage of the credibility of her illustrious board,” Leach wrote. “And through her deception, she achieved spectacular fame, adoration and billions of dollars in wealth.”

Leach also pointed out how, after Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou exposed the plan, Holmes “attacked him, along with his sources” and desperately tried to shift the blame onto others.

“In the process, she gave her COO (and longtime friend), her board of directors, her scientists, her business partners, her investors, her marketing agency, her lawyers, the media — everyone but herself,” Leach wrote.

The company’s former chief operating officer, 57-year-old Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, was convicted in a separate trial in July of 12 felonies of fraud involving investors and patients. He will be sentenced on December 7.

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And Leach wrote that the health of real patients was endangered by what Holmes had done.

“When the money dried up, she went to market with an unproven and unreliable medical device,” he wrote. “When her lead test developer quit when Theranos launched, she told the scientist chillingly, ‘She has a promise to deliver to the customer, she doesn’t have much choice but to go ahead with the launch.'”

Holmes’ lawyers have argued that if U.S. District Judge Edward Davila decides to send her to prison, she deserves a lenient sentence because she poses no danger to the public and has no criminal record.