Elizabeth Holmes tried to ‘flee the country’, prosecutors allege


Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, booked a one-way plane ticket to Mexico that was scheduled to depart just weeks after she was convicted of fraud in January 2022, according to a recent court document. In the document, filed Thursday, prosecutors describe the reservation as an “attempt to flee the country.”

Government lawyers learned of the flight, which departed on January 26, 2022, on January 23 of that year and alerted Holmes’ legal team via email. They replied that he had booked the flight before the verdict in hopes of being able to attend a wedding in Mexico. Holmes canceled the ticket, “but it is difficult to know for sure what the defendant would have done if the government had not intervened,” prosecutors wrote.

The filing was in response to a motion filed by Holmes, 38, to loosen restrictions placed on his region of travel. To do so, Holmes has to prove he is not a flight risk, a requirement prosecutors say he failed to meet.

In November of last year, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her January 3, 2022 conviction on four counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was given a voluntary surrender date of April 27 this year after the court discovered that she was pregnant with her second child.

Holmes posted $500,000 bail secured by his parents’ home, according to his motion, and has been living at a property in California with a reported monthly upkeep of more than $13,000, according to prosecutors’ filing.

Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years in prison

She justified her travel extension request based on her partner’s work commitments, and also recorded her salary as $0 despite stating that “her partner pays the monthly bills for her,” the prosecutors’ document says.

Her attorneys argued in their motion that Holmes “has strong ties to her partner and family, including her son and her future child, that encourage her to comply with her conditions of release.”

In emails dated January 23, 2022, which were included in the recent filing, Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Schenk wrote to Holmes’ attorney that the government had learned of his travel plans and had not obtained the approval. “In light of the current conditions of his bail, we find this troubling,” he wrote, requesting confirmation of the trip cancellation by the following morning.

Holmes’ lawyer responded that, “Given the verdict, she does not plan to make the trip,” noting that her passport had been confiscated. She hadn’t canceled the flight “in the midst of everything that’s been going on,” she said, adding that “they would ask her to do it right away.”

Holmes’ partner, William Evans, ended up making the trip to Mexico and returned to the United States from South Africa more than five weeks later, according to court documents.

Holmes founded the Theranos laboratory testing company in 2003 at age 19, promising technology that could perform hundreds of medical tests with just a few drops of blood. The company attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from prominent investors, including Walmart’s Rupert Murdoch and Walton Family. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was on the board of directors.

In 2015, Holmes’ net worth was $4.5 billion, according to Reuters. Seen as a promising young CEO, she graced the cover of magazines like Forbes and Fortune.

But his image began to crumble after revelations from a Wall Street Journal investigation that included how Theranos relied on technology from other companies to conduct the tests. Eventually, it turned out that Holmes directed what Thursday’s filing calls “an elaborate fraud scheme that resulted in over a hundred million dollars in losses, with no regard for the patients she endangered and no remorse to this day toward the victim-investors.” ”.

“There are not two justice systems, one for the rich and one for the poor, there is one criminal justice system in this country,” the prosecutors added.

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