A judge on Thursday sentenced a top aide and ex-boyfriend of fallen Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to prison for tricking people into trusting the failed blood-testing startup.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila sentenced Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to nearly 13 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for his role in what prosecutors argued was a criminal case. Big scam for Theranos investors and patients.
Balwani is said to have surrendered to be taken into custody on March 15.
Fallen US biotech star Holmes, whose fraud trial is different from that of Balwani, has requested a appellate court to overturn her sentence and resulted in a sentence of more than 11 years in prison.
Holmes’ appeal says she is challenging prison sentence circulated in November, as well as “any and all adverse judgments entered into, preceding or dependent upon.”
She was convicted of four felony fraud counts in January for persuading investors that she had developed a revolutionary medical device before the company went bankrupt following an investigation by the company. The Wall Street Journal.
The jury found Balwani guilty on all 12 counts of fraud by federal prosecutoraccording to the court.
Holmes and Balwani are rare examples of tech executives facing charges for a fledgling company that failed to live up to its hype, in a field littered with the corpses of dead companies. Failed startups once promised untold riches.
Holmes, who is pregnant, will not have to turn herself in until next April, at the behest of Davila, who presided over both trials in a San Jose, California courtroom.
The 38-year-old became a Silicon Valley star when she says her startup is perfecting an easy-to-use test kit that can perform a variety of medical diagnoses with just a few drops of blood.
During his trial, Holmes described Balwani as a controlling force at Theranos.
Her experiment sheds light on the blurred line between industry-specific hustle and utter dishonesty.
U.S. Attorney Robert Leach told jurors in federal court in San Jose that Balwani, 57, ran the company with Holmes and that the pair were “partners in everything, including their crimes.”
But Holmes and Balwani both denied the charges in court, arguing that they truly believed in Theranos’ potential for failure, not fraud.
Balwani, nearly two decades older than Holmes, was brought in to help run the company she founded in 2003 at the age of 19.
Prosecutors allege Holmes and Balwani knew the technology wasn’t working as advertised but continued to promote it as a revolution for patients and investors who pumped money into the company.
When Theranos skyrocketed, it attracted celebrities like Rupert Murdoch and Henry Kissinger, but a series of reports questioning the company’s claims from Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal caused the company to collapse.
© 2022 AFP
quote: Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani jailed for Theranos scam (2022, Dec 8) accessed Dec 8, 2022 from https://techxplore.com/news/2022-12-ramesh-sunny-balwani- prison-theranos.html
This document is the subject for the collection of authors. Other than any fair dealing for private learning or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content provided is for informational purposes only.