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Society

Prosecutors: Convicted CEO Elizabeth Holmes is a Flight Risk

January 21, 2023

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Elizabeth Holmes is a flight risk and shouldn’t be allowed to stay out of prison while she appeals her 11-year prison sentence for defrauding investors, federal prosecutors said in court documents.

Holmes had a one-way plane ticket to Mexico booked for Jan. 26, 2022, three weeks after being convicted by a jury on four counts of fraud and conspiracy, federal prosecutors said in a motion filed Thursday in federal court in Northern California.

Holmes, who was CEO of Theranos during the company’s turbulent 15-year history, was convicted in a scheme that revolved around the company’s claims to have developed a medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. But the technology never worked, and the claims were false.

Holmes booked the 2022 flight without a scheduled return trip and only canceled it after prosecutors contacted Holmes’ attorneys about the “unauthorized flight,” prosecutors said.

Holmes’ attorneys did not immediately respond Friday to email and phone messages from The Associated Press. In a Jan. 23, 2022, email responding to prosecutors’ concerns about the planned trip, they said Holmes had booked it before the jury’s verdict to attend a wedding in Mexico.

“Given the verdict, she does not plan to take the trip and therefore did not provide notice, seek permission, or request access to her passport (which the government has) for the trip,” wrote Lance Wade, one of Holmes’ attorneys.

On November 17, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Homes to more than 11 years in prison. Davila ordered Holmes, who is pregnant, to report to prison on April 27, giving her enough time to give birth to her second child before she is incarcerated. She gave birth to a son shortly before her trial started last year.

Prosecutors did not protest Davila’s decision to give Holmes five months of freedom or bring up the fact that they considered her a flight risk.

Holmes is scheduled to return to court on March 17 for a hearing on her request to stay out of prison while she appeals her conviction.

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