Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes cannot remain free on appeal, judge rules

April 10 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday denied Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ request to remain free on bail while she appeals her conviction on charges of defrauding investors in the failed blood-testing startup that was once valued at $9 billion dollars.

Holmes, who rose to fame after claiming Theranos̵[ads1]7; tiny machines could run a series of diagnostic tests with just a few drops of blood, was convicted in the trial in San Jose, California last year.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison in November. Holmes asked Davila to delay sentencing while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers her case.

Davila concluded that even if Holmes won her appeal to challenge the Theranos technology evidence, it would not result in a reversal or a new trial of all the counts on which she was found guilty.

“Contrary to her suggestion that accuracy and reliability were central issues to her conviction, Holmes’ misrepresentations to Theranos investors involved more than just whether the Theranos technology worked as promised,” he said.

Holmes, who is scheduled to begin serving his sentence in April, may ask the 9th Circuit to grant bail.

Davila rejected the release appeal, noting that Holmes was unlikely to flee or endanger the community.

Prosecutors said at trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos’ technology and finances. Holmes testified in her own defense, saying she believed her statements were accurate at the time.

On appeal, Holmes plans to challenge several of the judge’s rulings, including his admission of evidence about Theranos’ test accuracy that post-dated her statements to investors.

Holmes’ co-defendant, former Theranos president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, was convicted of defrauding Theranos investors and patients in a separate trial and sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison.

In March, Davila rejected Balwani’s request to remain free on bail pending the appeal. The 9th Circuit also ruled that Balwani’s sentence should not be stayed while it hears his case.

The case is US v. Holmes et al., US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-00258.

Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jody Godoy

Thomson Reuters

Jody Godoy reports on banking and securities law. Reach her at

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