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Holmes gives birth while she seeks to delay incarceration
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has given birth to a second child as she seeks to delay her impending imprisonment for felony fraud, according to a court filing last week.
Holmes, 39, had a first child — a son — in July 2021, as she awaited trial on charges of defrauding investors and patients in connection with her nowdefunct Palo Alto bloodtesting startup.
Between her conviction in January 2022 for defrauding investors out of more than $144 million, and her sentencing 10 months later to more than 11 years in prison,
Holmes became pregnant again, according to a court filing. Judge Edward Davila, in passing sentence, delayed her incarceration until April 27, with legal experts saying he likely imposed the delay so Holmes could give birth before imprisonment. Holmes has appealed her conviction and sentence.
Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 as a Stanford University dropout. Her claims that her technology could conduct a full range of tests using just a few drops of blood from a finger-stick helped drive its valuation as high as $9 billion, before a series of Wall Street Journal exposés led to federal investigations, criminal charges and the demise of the startup in 2018. She was acquitted on charges of defrauding patients who paid for Theranos blood tests.
The court record does not reveal when Holmes delivered her second child. She appeared pregnant at an October court hearing in U.S. District Court in San Jose, and her fiancé Billy Evans — the father of Holmes' first child — confirmed her pregnancy in a November court filing. Her legal team in a court filing Feb. 23 said she now has “two young children.”
The filing came amid a back-and-forth fight between Holmes' legal team and prosecutors that followed her motion in December asking Davila to extend her freedom until her appeal is finished, a process that could take a year or more. Davila has recommended that Holmes be sent to a minimumsecurity women's prison camp in Texas, but federal prison officials will decide where she serves time. Last month, prosecutors argued that Holmes should not remain free after April 27. They accused her of posing a flight risk and claimed she had tried to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Mexico after her conviction.
Holmes only canceled the trip after a prosecutor contacted her lawyers about the ticket, the prosecution alleged. Holmes' partner Billy Evans, prosecutors claimed, flew to Mexico, not returning for nearly six weeks, and then from South Africa.
Holmes' lawyers fired back, arguing that the prosecution had “recklessly and incorrectly” alleged she sought to escape accountability. Her legal team claimed in a court filing that before Holmes was convicted, she had hoped to be acquitted, and wanted to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico in late January 2022. “Once the verdict was issued, Ms. Holmes did not intend to make the trip,” her lawyers claimed. Evans, who described himself for the first time as Holmes' “fiancé” in a declaration included with the filing, had returned to the U.S. through Tijuana four days after he flew to Mexico, before flying to
South Africa three weeks later on a two-week trip, according to Holmes' lawyers.
Holmes' lawyers also questioned why prosecutors waited until December to make their claim despite knowing about the Mexico booking for a year, and did not mention it when Davila was making decisions about whether Holmes could remain free.
But prosecutors in a counter-filing noted that Holmes failed to explain why her ticket to Mexico was only one way. “Noticeably absent from (Holmes') filing is a declaration from the person whose mental state matters — (Holmes) herself — asserting that she did not intend to nor attempt to flee in January 2022,” the filing said.