Pawtucket Times

Elizabeth Holmes gets more than 11 years for Theranos scam

- By MICHAEL LIEDTKE AP Technology Writer

Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in prison for duping investors in the failed startup that promised to revolution­ize blood testing but instead made her a symbol of Silicon Valley ambition that veered into deceit.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila was shorter than the 15-year penalty requested by federal prosecutor­s but far tougher than the leniency her legal team sought for the mother of a year-old son with another child on the way.

Holmes, who was CEO throughout the company’s turbulent 15-year history, was convicted in January in the scheme, which revolved around the company’s claims to have developed a medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. But the technology never worked, and her claims were false.

Theranos was dashed “by misreprese­ntations, hubris and just plain lies,” the judge said.

“This case is so troubling on so many levels,” he said. “What was it that caused Ms. Holmes to make the decisions she did? Was there a loss of a moral compass?”

Holmes’ meteoric rise once landed her on the covers of business magazines that hailed her as the next Steve Jobs. And her deception drew in a list of sophistica­ted investors that included software magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Walton family behind Walmart.

She sobbed as she told the judge she accepted responsibi­lity for her actions.

“I regret my failings with every cell of my body,” Holmes said.

The sentencing in the same San Jose, California, courtroom where Holmes was convicted on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in January marked another climactic moment in a saga that has been dissected in an HBO documentar­y and an award-winning Hulu series about her meteoric rise and mortifying downfall.

Holmes, 38, faced a maximum of 20 years in prison, but her legal team asked the judge for a sentence of no more than 18 months, preferably served in home confinemen­t.

Her lawyers argued that Holmes deserved more lenient treatment as a well-meaning entreprene­ur who is now a devoted mother with another child

on the way. Their arguments were supported by

more than 130 letters submitted by family, friends and former colleagues praising Holmes.

Prosecutor­s also wanted Holmes to pay $804 million in restitutio­n. The amount covers most of the nearly $1 billion that Holmes raised from investors.

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