Elizabeth Holmes Booked A One-Way Flight To Mexico After Fraud Conviction, Prosecutors Say


Shortly after disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of fraud last year, she purchased a one-way trip to Mexico, prosecutors alleged Thursday in court documents opposing her request that she remain out of prison while she appeals her case.

Key Facts

Prosecutors alleged Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country shortly after she was convicted,” saying her “incentive to flee has never been higher and Defendant has the means to act on that incentive.”

Holmes purchased a ticket to Mexico departing the U.S. on January 26, 2022, just 23 days after she was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which prosecutors learned about on January 23, and she did not purchase a return ticket.

The flight was canceled “only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel,” prosecutors claimed.

Holmes’ partner William Evans left on that trip and did not return for six weeks, the documents say.

Prosecutors also alleged Holmes is living on an estate where “monthly expenses exceed $13,000 per month,” based on information Holmes has provided to her probation office—however, Holmes has said Evans pays these bills, and also stated that his monthly salary is $0 (it’s not clear what Evans does for a living: He is reported to have previously worked at LinkedIn and Luminar, and his grandparents started Evans Hotels management group).

What To Watch For

Holmes must self-surrender on April 27 to serve her prison sentence of 11-plus years , unless her motion for release is granted. U.S. District Judge Edward Davil recommended she serve her sentence at a minimum security prison camp in Byron, Texas. In their opposition filing, prosecutors noted Holmes—who was sentenced in November—was given a self-surrender date “almost six months out at least in part because Defendant informed the Court that she became pregnant with her second child between the jury returning a guilty verdict against her and her sentencing date.”

Key Background

Holmes, 38, is the wunderkind founder of Theranos, a now-failed blood testing startup she started after she dropped out of Stanford at age 19. Holmes took Silicon Valley by storm with her promise that Theranos’ technology could perform blood tests using a single drop, instead of a full vial, which she believed could have revolutionized the healthcare industry. Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger and Larry Ellison all invested in the company, and Theranos had a deal with Walgreens to put its machines in stores. But an exposé from the Wall Street Journal prompted investigations that showed Theranos’ machines couldn’t perform the tests Holmes claimed they could. She and her business partner Sunny Balwani were charged in 2018. In addition to being found guilty on four charges, Holmes was found not guilty on four counts and the jury deadlocked on another three counts. She was only found guilty on charges related to defrauding investors. Balwani was found guilty on 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in July. He was later sentenced to 13 years in prison. Holmes’ team asked that she only serve 18 months in prison.

Further Reading

Elizabeth Holmes’ Business Partner Sunny Balwani Found Guilty Of Fraud In Theranos Case (Forbes)

Elizabeth Holmes’ Business Partner Sunny Balwani Sentenced To 13 Years In Prison (Forbes)

Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced To 11 Years In Prison For Fraud (Forbes)

Elizabeth Holmes Asks For Only 18 Months In Prison After Guilty Verdict (Forbes)

Elizabeth Holmes Found Guilty On Wire Fraud Charges (Forbes)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/marisadellatto/2023/01/20/elizabeth-holmes-booked-a-one-way-flight-to-mexico-after-fraud-conviction-prosecutors-say/