A federal decide on Friday sentenced disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to greater than 11 years in jail for duping traders within the failed startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing however as an alternative made her an emblem of Silicon Valley’s tradition of audacious self-promotion.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Choose Edward Davila was shorter than the 15-year penalty requested by federal prosecutors however far more durable than the leniency her authorized crew hunted for the mom of a year-old son with one other baby on the way in which.

Holmes, who was CEO all through the corporate’s turbulent 15-year historical past, was convicted in January within the scheme, which revolved across the firm’s claims to have developed a medical machine that would detect a mess of illnesses and situations from a number of drops of blood. However the know-how by no means labored.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows beneath.

A federal decide was to determine Friday whether or not disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes ought to serve a prolonged jail sentence for duping traders and endangering sufferers whereas peddling bogus blood-testing know-how.

Holmes’ sentencing in the identical San Jose, California, courtroom the place she was convicted on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in January marks one other climactic second in a saga that has been dissected in an HBO documentary and an award-winning Hulu sequence about her meteoric rise and mortifying downfall.

Theranos promised to ship revolutionary know-how that would scan for a whole lot of illnesses and different aliments with just some drops of blood. Nevertheless it by no means labored.

U.S. District Choose Edward Davila will take heart stage as he weighs the federal government’s recommendation to ship the 38-year-old Holmes to federal jail for 15 years. That’s lower than the utmost sentence of 20 years, however her authorized crew is asking for incarceration of no more than 18 months, ideally served in residence confinement.

Her attorneys have argued that Holmes deserves extra lenient remedy as a well-meaning entrepreneur who’s now a loyal mom with one other baby on the way in which. Their arguments had been supported by greater than 130 letters submitted by household, pals and former colleagues praising Holmes.

A probation report additionally submitted to Davila beneficial a nine-year jail sentence.

Prosecutors additionally need Holmes to pay $804 million in restitution. The quantity covers a lot of the almost $1 billion that Holmes raised from an inventory of subtle traders that included software program magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Walton household behind Walmart.

Whereas wooing traders, Holmes leveraged a high-powered Theranos board that included former Protection Secretary James Mattis, who testified against her throughout her trial, and two former secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz, whose son submitted a press release blasting Holmes for concocting a scheme that performed Shultz “for the idiot.”

Davila’s judgment – and Holmes’ reporting date for a possible stint in jail — could possibly be affected by her second being pregnant in two years. After giving beginning to a son shortly earlier than her trial began final yr, Holmes grew to become pregnant in some unspecified time in the future whereas free on bail this yr.

Though her attorneys didn’t point out the being pregnant in an 82-page memo submitted to Davila final week, the being pregnant was confirmed in a letter from her present accomplice, William “Billy” Evans, that urged the decide to be merciful.

In that 12-page letter, which included footage of Holmes doting on their 1-year-old son, Evans talked about that Holmes participated in a Golden Gate Bridge swimming occasion earlier this yr whereas pregnant. He additionally famous that Holmes suffered by way of a case of COVID-19 in August whereas pregnant. Evans didn’t disclose Holmes’ due date in his letter.

If Holmes’ being pregnant performs a task in lowering or qualifying her sentence, the choice may show controversial. A 2019 examine discovered that greater than 1,000 pregnant girls entered federal or state prisons over a 12-month examine interval; 753 of them gave birth in custody.

In keeping with a 2016 survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, greater than half of girls coming into federal jail — 58% — reported being mothers of minor children.

Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a protection legal professional, predicted that Davila’s sentencing determination gained’t be swayed by the being pregnant. However Levin expects the decide to permit her to stay free till after the child is born.

“She can be no extra of a flight threat after she is sentenced than she was whereas awaiting sentencing,” Levin stated. “We’ve got to mood our sentences with some measure of humanity.”

The being pregnant makes it extra seemingly Davila can be criticized it doesn’t matter what sentence he imposes, predicted Amanda Kramer, one other former federal prosecutor.

“There’s a fairly wholesome debate about what sort of sentence is required to impact common deterrence to ship a message to others who’re pondering of crossing that line from sharp salesmanship into materials misrepresentation,” Kramer stated.

Federal prosecutor Robert Leach declared that Holmes deserves a extreme punishment for engineering a rip-off that he described as some of the egregious white-collar crimes ever dedicated in Silicon Valley. In a scathing 46-page memo, Leach advised the decide he has a chance to ship a message that curbs the hubris and hyperbole unleashed by the tech growth.

Holmes “preyed on hopes of her traders {that a} younger, dynamic entrepreneur had modified healthcare,” Leach wrote. “And thru her deceit, she attained spectacular fame, adoration and billions of {dollars} of wealth.”

Though Holmes was acquitted by a jury on 4 counts of fraud and conspiracy tied to sufferers who took Theranos blood exams, Leach additionally requested Davila to issue within the well being threats posed by Holmes’ conduct.

Holmes’ lawyer Kevin Downey painted her as a selfless visionary who spent 14 years of her life attempting to revolutionize well being care.

Though proof submitted throughout her trial confirmed the blood exams produced wildly unreliable outcomes that would have steered sufferers towards the improper remedies, her attorneys asserted that Holmes by no means stopped attempting to excellent the know-how till Theranos collapsed in 2018.

In addition they identified that Holmes by no means offered any of her Theranos shares — a stake valued at $4.5 billion in 2014, when Holmes was being hailed as the subsequent Steve Jobs on the covers of enterprise magazines.

Defending herself in opposition to prison prices has left Holmes with “substantial debt from which she is unlikely to get better,” Downey wrote, suggesting that she is unlikely to pay any restitution that Davila would possibly order as a part of her sentence.

“Holmes shouldn’t be a hazard to society,” Downey wrote.

Downey additionally requested Davila to think about the alleged sexual and emotional abuse Holmes suffered whereas she was concerned romantically with Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who grew to become a Theranos investor, high government and ultimately an confederate in her crimes.

Balwani, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7 after being convicted in a July trial on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy.

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