Elizabeth Holmes Will Make About $6 a Month in Prison

And her victims will get half
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 8:56 AM CDT
Updated May 30, 2023 1:19 PM CDT
Elizabeth Holmes Will Make About $6 a Month in Prison
Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, left, is escorted by prison officials into a federal women’s prison camp on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in Bryan, Texas.   (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Elizabeth Holmes is now in Texas, and she won't be leaving the state for years. The Theranos founder reported to federal prison Tuesday afternoon to begin serving her 11-year, 3-month sentence. Federal law demands she serve at least 85% of that. The 39-year-old will serve her time at Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, where she'll be among a population of up to 720 white-collar and non-violent female offenders (including one former Real Housewife). The Guardian reports she showed up casually dressed and smiled as she entered.

The camp "lacks the fencing and strict rules of higher-security prisons," per the Guardian. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal notes her prison room likely won't have bars or a door but rather an open entrance. Holmes has also been ordered to pay $452 million in restitution to the wealthy investors she defrauded, but as the BBC explains, they shouldn't get their hopes up. Experts tell the BBC that restitution in the US is "largely symbolic" these days, as few people actually have the means to pay the amount owed. Holmes has claimed she can't even pay her lawyers in full.

Prosecutors have likely started to seize any assets she does have, and she'll continue to chip away at the sum while in prison. The federal prison camp she'll be at requires that prisoners work, and pays them between 12 cents and $1.15 an hour. Randy Zelin of Cornell Law School expects she'll make about $6 a month, and says half that total will go to her victims.

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A poignant line from the AP, which notes the Bryan prison camp is "located about 100 miles from Houston, where she grew up aspiring to become a technology visionary along the lines of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs." Some of her relatives still live in the area, notes NPR. Holmes has most recently been living in San Diego with partner Billy Evans and their two children, a nearly 2-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter. They're permitted to visit every weekend, and children under 10 can sit on their mother's lap. This story has been updated with photos and to reflect that Holmes turned herself in. (More Elizabeth Holmes stories.)

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