Elizabeth Holmes trial: Federal prosecutors seek 15 years for Theranos fraud

Federal prosecutors filed a brief Friday asking a judge to sentence Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to 15 years in prison for duping investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the 46-page briefing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Leach attacked Holmes for choosing “lies, hype, and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair relationships with providers.” investors”.

FILE: Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives in federal court on October 17, 2022 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Elizabeth Holmes’ crimes weren’t failing, they were lying — lying in the most serious context, where everyone needed her to tell the truth,” Leach said.

Prosecutors have also asked Holmes to pay more than $800 million in restitution for his role in the years-long program.

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“She fed on the hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed health care. She tapped into the credibility of her illustrious board of directors,” Leach wrote. “And, through her deception, she achieved spectacular fame, adoration, and billions of dollars in wealth.”

Leach wrote that the health of actual patients was endangered by what Holmes had done.

“As the money ran out she went to market with an unproven and unreliable medical device,” he wrote. “When her lead trial developer quit during the launch of Theranos, she coldly told the scientist, ‘she has a promise to deliver to the customer, she really has no choice but to go ahead with the launch. “”

Elizabeth Holmes arrives in court

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives in federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, October 19. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu/AP Newsroom)

Holmes was convicted in January of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Holmes’ lawyers filed an 82-page document Thursday night calling for a lenient sentence of no more than 18 months, saying her reputation had been permanently destroyed, turning her into a “caricature to be mocked and reviled”. They also maintain that Holmes poses no danger to the public and has no criminal history.

Calling the case “one of the most significant white-collar crimes Silicon Valley or any other district has ever seen,” prosecutors vehemently rejected the defense attorneys’ characterization that Holmes was wrongfully victimized, partly because of media coverage.

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Holmes is due to appear for sentencing on November 2. 18 in federal court in San Jose, Calif., before U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. She faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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