Prosecutors claim Elizabeth Holmes planned to ‘flee the country’ after conviction

SAN JOSE – According to a new court filing filed by prosecutors Friday, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” after her conviction last January.

According to court records, Holmes booked a one-way ticket to Mexico departing in January 2022, shortly after she was convicted of fraud.

elizabeth holmes
elizabeth holmes

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Holmes was convicted last January of defrauding investors while running Theranos, the failed blood-testing company. In November he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She has appealed her conviction and does not start her prison term until this spring, a waiting period prosecutors called “generous” and because she was pregnant.

Last November, the judge who sentenced Holmes recommended that she serve her term in a minimum-security facility for women in Texas.

The claim that he attempted to leave the country last year emerged as part of a new filing by prosecutors arguing that Holmes should start serving his prison sentence instead of living in a property that reportedly has $13,000 in monthly maintenance expenses.

In the filing, prosecutors argue that Holmes has not shown convincing evidence that he is not a flight risk, as his lawyers have stated, and they used the alleged 2022 incident to support their concerns that he could pose such a risk.

“The government became aware on January 23, 2022 that defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, with no return flight scheduled,” the court filing says. “Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with the defense attorney was the trip cancelled.”

The presentation adds that prosecutors He anticipated Holmes “will respond that he did not, in fact, leave the country as scheduled,” but said “it’s hard to know for sure” what he would have done “had the government not intervened.” Now, in the wake of his sentencing, prosecutors say “the incentive to flee has never been greater” and Holmes “has the means to act on that incentive.”

An attorney for Holmes did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on Friday’s filing.

The court filing includes an email from one of Holmes’ lawyers to the prosecution, alleging that the travel reservation was made before the verdict. In the email, Holmes’ lawyer says the former Theranos CEO hoped the verdict would be different and that she would be able to make this trip to attend a friends wedding in Mexico.

In an earlier court filing, Holmes’s lawyers argued for his release from custody pending appeal, saying he was not a flight risk or a threat to the community.

Holmes was ordered to surrender into custody on April 27, 2023, at which time his prison sentence will begin.

“There are not two justice systems, one for the rich and one for the poor, there is one criminal justice system in this country,” prosecutors stated in the filing. They argue that “under that system, the time has come” for Holmes to answer for his crimes.

Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos lured major investors and retail partners with claims that it had developed technology to test for a wide range of conditions with just a few drops of blood. The company began to unravel after a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation reported that Theranos had only performed about a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary technology and with questionable accuracy.

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