Theranos Fraudster Elizabeth Holmes Loses Bid to Avoid Prison: Hit with $452 Million Restitution Order

FILE - Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court in San Jose, Calif., Marc
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

Disgraced Theranos founder and convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes looks bound for prison time after an appeals court Tuesday rejected her bid to remain free while she tries to overturn her conviction in a blood-testing scam.

The former Silicon Valley star has also been ordered to pay $452 million in restitution to the victims of her crimes – including $125 million to Rupert Murdoch, one of her biggest investors, AP reports.

Others in line for repayment include Walgreens, an early investor in the startup after agreeing to provide some of the flawed blood tests in its pharmacies in 2013. The company is entitled to $40 million, the judge ruled.

Another $14.5m is owed to Safeway, which had also agreed to be a Theranos business partner before getting cold feet and withdrawing as Silicon Valley elites and global media swooned over her claimed medical advances.

Holmes is being held jointly liable for that amount with her former lover and top Theranos lieutenant, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who is already in prison after being convicted on a broader range of felonies in a separate trial.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Holmes’ attempt to avoid prison comes nearly three weeks after she deployed a last-minute legal maneuver to delay the start of her 11-year sentence.

File/ NBC News Special Anchor Maria Shriver (L) and Theranos Founder and C.E.O. Elizabeth Holmes speak onstage during “True Blood – Diagnostics in the New Age” at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on October 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

The mother of two had previously been ordered to surrender to authorities on April 27.

Holmes, 39, was convicted at trial in San Jose, California, in 2022 and sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison, as Breitbart News reported.

She has since been fighting to delay the prison term.

At Theranos’ height, Holmes had amassed a fortune of $4.5 billion on paper and was lionized as a visionary in glowing media coverage that included a famous cover story in Forbes magazine and a profile in the New Yorker.

Federal prosecutors argued Holmes used this positive media coverage to lure the investors she is convicted of defrauding.

A new date for Holmes to leave her current home in the San Diego area and report to prison is yet to be set.

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