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Ex-Theranos executive goes to prison after losing appeal

Former Theranos CEO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani will be headed to prison later this month after an appeals court rejected his bid to remain free while he contests his conviction for conducting a blood test nap with his former boss and girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes.

After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Balwani’s request, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ordered him Friday to begin his nearly 13-year prison sentence. on April 20.

One of Balwani’s attorneys had filed a motion late Thursday for nearly two weeks to give Balwani time to make travel arrangements and make other preparations for a trip that would send him to a federal prison in Southern California.

The April 20 reporting date means Balwani will go to prison a week before Holmes, Theranos̵[ads1]7; founder and CEO, is scheduled to begin a more than 11-year prison sentence. after being convicted of four counts of fraud and conspiracy last year.

Holmes, 39, appeared before Davila last month along with her lawyers in an attempt to persuade the judge to let her remain free while she pursues her own appeal. Davila has not yet ruled on Holmes’ request.

Davila last month rejected Balwani’s request to remain free while he appeals his conviction on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy and ordered him to report to jail on March 16. Balwani then avoided having to report on that date by appealing Davila’s ruling against him.

But three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Balwani had not provided enough compelling evidence to convince them that his conviction is likely to be overturned.

Balwani will serve his sentence in a prison near a port in San Pedro, California, which is about 50 kilometers from downtown Los Angeles. The Terminal Island prison has imprisoned several other prominent figures, including gangster Al Capone in the 1930s, apocalyptic cult leader Charles Manson for a car theft in the 1950s, and LSD evangelist Timothy Leary in the 1970s.

Although they had separate trials, Holmes and Balwani were accused of essentially the same crimes centered on a scheme that touted Theranos’ blood-testing system as a revolutionary breakthrough in healthcare. The allegations helped the company become a Silicon Valley sensation that raised nearly $1 billion from investors.

But the technology never came close to working as Holmes and Balwani boasted, resulting in Theranos’ scandalous collapse and a criminal case that shone a bright light on Silicon Valley’s greed and hubris.

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