Elizabeth Holmes—Theranos Fraudster And Ex-Billionaire

Elizabeth Holmes—Theranos Fraudster And Ex-Billionaire


Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes appears to have quietly shaved two years off her prison sentence for defrauding investors, prison records show, following a similar sentence reduction for co-conspirator Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani and just weeks after she claimed she cannot afford to make restitution payments for victims of the failed blood-testing startup.

Elizabeth Holmes is in prison for fraud and conspiracy for her role in Theranos.

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Key Facts

Bureau of Prisons records lists Holmes’ release date as December 29, 2032.

Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison last year after she was found guilty on four counts of fraud and conspiracy charges related to the blood-testing startup.

Holmes reported to a minimum-security women’s prison in Byran, Texas, on May 30, 2023 and the revised release date suggests she will serve roughly nine years and seven months in prison.

It’s not clear why Holmes’ release date has been brought forward to two years earlier than initially expected.

The Bureau of Prisons confirmed the new release date to the Guardian but would not comment further for reasons of inmate “privacy, safety, and security.”

Calculating precise release dates can be tricky and depends on a wide array of issues and the agency said it can be influenced by factors like good behavior, disciplinary concerns, the completion of substance abuse programs and jail-time credit.

Key Background

A jury convicted Holmes of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by lying to investors to raise money for her blood-testing company, Theranos. Holmes claimed the company had developed technology that could run an array of medical tests from a single drop of blood. The promise to revolutionize medicine attracted a slew of high profile investors and board members—including billionaires Rupert Murdoch and Larry Ellison and former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger—and vaulted the company’s valuation to $9 billion. It transpired that the company had lied about the kind, number and accuracy of the tests it was capable of doing and was also relying on machines from other companies to run blood tests. The company collapsed and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, formerly Theranos’ chief operating officer and Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, was also sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy. Balwani’s sentence was also recently reduced by two years.

Forbes Valuation

$0. That’s how much Forbes estimates Holmes is worth, according to our real time tracker. Forbes previously named Holmes the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire in 2014 with a fortune of $4.5 billion at just 30 years old. The estimate was based entirely on Holmes’ 50% stake in Theranos and Forbes revised its estimate down to $0 in 2016 as the company faced a string of federal investigations and new information affecting its valuation came to light.

Further Reading

Elizabeth Holmes Reports To Federal Prison: Here’s How The Former Billionaire Theranos Chief Got There (Forbes)

Sam Bankman-Fried, Elizabeth Holmes And 9 Other Epic Billionaire Blowups (Forbes)

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (John Carreyrou)

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