Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, once hailed as the “next Steve Jobs” and the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, is set to report to prison at the end of the month after losing her bid to remain free during her appeals process. Holmes, who was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for defrauding investors in her blood testing start-up, had claimed she would raise “substantial questions” that could warrant a new trial.
However, US District Judge Edward Davila ruled that Holmes had not proven her appeal would result in a new trial. Prosecutors had argued she was a flight risk due to her booking a one-way plane ticket to Mexico during her trial. Holmes’ attorneys argued it was for a wedding she planned to attend with her partner Billy Evans, and they hoped she would be acquitted.
Judge Davila called the ticket purchase “ill-advised” but not an attempt to flee. Holmes’ misrepresentations to Theranos investors involved more than just the accuracy and reliability of the technology, according to the judge.
Holmes’ downfall and conviction on four counts of fraud were chronicled in various media, including a TV series, an HBO documentary, and a podcast. She is expected to make one more bid to remain free during the appeals process, which could take at least a year, to a San Francisco-based court that she has asked to overturn her conviction. Holmes’ former business partner, Sunny Balwani, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for fraud last year.