Dec 7, 2022 - Economy

Ex-Theranos president Sunny Balwani sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison

Photo illustration of Sunny Balwani with abstract shapes, textures and gavels.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of failed blood-testing company Theranos, on Wednesday was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison, plus three years of probation.

Driving the news: Balwani's sentencing comes less than three weeks after his former boss and girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, received a prison sentence of 11 years and three months that's scheduled to begin in April.

Flashback: A California jury in July found Balwani guilty of 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud against certain Theranos investors and patients.

  • Judge Ed Davila sentenced both Balwani and Holmes, who prosecutors originally wanted to try together.

Behind the scenes: Prosecutors had sought a 15-year prison sentence for Balwani plus more than $800 million in restitution, while defense attorneys requested probation.

  • Balwani opted against speaking before sentencing.
  • Judge Davila will determine restitution specifics at a later date, as he also is doing with Holmes.

The bottom line: Balwani's defense strategy had been to blame Holmes for fraud at Theranos, much as Holmes had tried to blame Balwani. Neither worked.

Go deeper:

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison for Theranos fraud

Theranos trial reveals investors' questionable due diligence

Editor's note: Cox Enterprises, which invested in Theranos, is the parent company of Axios. This story has been corrected to reflect that Balwani has been sentenced to 13 years in prison, not in jail.

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