Nov 12, 2022 - Economy

Prosecutors seek 15 years in prison for Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at federal court on October 17, 2022 in San Jose, California.

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes arrives at federal court. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

U.S. prosecutors said Friday that Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes should receive 15 years in prison and pay $800 million in restitution to the investors defrauded through her blood-testing company, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Holmes, who was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud against certain investors earlier this year, is set to be sentenced next week.

What they're saying: "Considering the extensiveness of Holmes' fraud ... the sentencing of 180 months' imprisonment would reflect the seriousness of the offenses, provide for just punishment for the offenses, and deter Holmes and others," the Department of Justice's prosecutors said in a court filing, per Reuters.

Yes, but: Holmes has argued against a prison sentence. Her lawyers argued that Holmes has already become a "caricature to be mocked and vilified" and a prison sentence is unnecessary, per Fortune.

  • Holmes said in a filing obtained by The Associated Press and Bloomberg that she has appealed for "leniency" that would include an 18-month home sentence.

Context: Holmes was convicted on three charges of wire fraud and one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud with certain investors back at the beginning of the year. Each guilty verdict carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, Axios previously reported.

  • She was found not guilty on four other counts related to defrauding patients, and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on three counts of deceiving investors.
  • Holmes would serve all sentences concurrently, the New York Times reported.

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