Prosecutors Want 15 Years for Holmes

Filing calls for $800M in restitution, while defense argues against prison term
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2022 10:55 AM CST
Holmes' Lawyers Say She Doesn't Deserve Prison
FILE - Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 17, 2022. Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Holmes to 15 years in prison, arguing she deserves a lengthy prison term because her massive scheme duped investors out of hundreds of millions...   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Lawyers for Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted in January of investor fraud and conspiracy, have argued that the Theranos founder shouldn't receive a prison term when she's sentenced for her crimes Friday in San Jose. In their court filing, federal prosecutors made clear that they couldn't disagree more, asking the judge to impose a sentence of 15 years in prison and order Holmes to pay $800 million in restitution. Such a sentence would "reflect the seriousness of the offenses, provide for just punishment for the offenses, and deter Holmes and others," the prosecutors wrote. The maximum sentence possible is 20 years, the Guardian reports.

The defense argued that Holmes poses no danger to the public. "She has no criminal history, has a perfect pretrial services compliance record, and is described by the people who know her repeatedly as a gentle and loving person who tries to do the right thing." The most severe sentence Holmes should receive is 18 months of house arrest, the filing says. The prosecution pointed out that Holmes swindled investors out of millions of dollars when she convinced them that Theranos had invented the technology for a revolutionary blood testing device. It hadn't. "She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors," a prosecutor wrote in a 46-page brief, per the AP. (More Elizabeth Holmes stories.)

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