Elizabeth Holmes’ ex-boyfriend Ramesh Balwani gets nearly 13 years in prison in Theranos case


A US judge on Wednesday sentenced former Theranos CEO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to 12 years and 11 months in prison for defrauding investors and patients of the Elizabeth Holmes-led blood testing startup, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office confirmed.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Balwani in July on two counts of conspiracy and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Balwani, 57, conspired with Holmes, 38, to trick Silicon Valley investors into believing the company had achieved miniaturized machines that could accurately perform large-scale medical diagnostic tests from small amounts of blood.

Meanwhile, the company relied on traditional methods to secretly conduct tests and provide false results to patients, prosecutors said.

Holmes, who started the company as a college student and became its public face, was indicted in 2018 along with her former romantic partner, Balwani.

Holmes is due to be sentenced on November 18, 2022.
Reuters

Davila later granted each a separate trial after Holmes said he would take the stand and testify about Balwani’s abuse in their relationship. He denied the allegations.

Holmes was convicted in January of four counts of fraud and conspiracy, but was acquitted of defrauding patients.

Davila sentenced Holmes to 11-1/4 years in prison at a hearing last month and called Theranos a venture of “falsehoods, misrepresentations, outright arrogance and lies.” .

Prosecutors later argued that Balwani should be sentenced to 15 years in prison, saying he knew Theranos’ tests were flawed from monitoring the company’s lab operations and “put Theranos’ financial health first over the actual health of patients.” decided to “put it on”.

The probation office had recommended a nine-year sentence.

A court sketch shows Ramesh Balwani sitting next to attorney Jeff Coopersmith before U.S. District Judge Edward.  Davila.
A court sketch shows Ramesh Balwani sitting next to attorney Jeff Coopersmith before U.S. District Judge Edward. Davila.
Reuters
Balwani comes to judge.
Balwani comes to judge.
JOHN G MABANGLO / EPA-EFE / Shutters

Balwani’s lawyers argued that he wanted to make the world a better place through Theranos and was not motivated by fame or greed.

Theranos, once valued at $9 billion, promised to revolutionize the way patients are diagnosed by replacing traditional labs with tiny machines designed for use in homes, pharmacies and even on the battlefield.

The company collapsed in 2015 after a series of Wall Street Journal articles questioned its technology.

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