Former Theranos executive goes to prison after losing appeal

Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani will go to prison later this month after an appeals court rejected his bid to remain free while he challenges his conviction for carrying out a blood test hoax with his former boss. and lover, Elizabeth Holmes.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision late Thursday that denied Balwani’s request to delay the start of his nearly 13-year prison sentence still leaves open the question of when he will have to turn himself in to authorities.

Jeffrey Coopersmith, one of Balwani’s attorneys, proposed that Balwani, 57, appear in prison on April 20 in a motion filed with U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over Balwani’s trial last year and imposed his sentencing in December.

Balwani’s proposed reporting date of April 20 is a week before Holmes, the founder and chief executive of Theranos, begins a prison sentence of more than 11 years after being convicted of four counts of fraud and conspiracy. last year.

Holmes, 39, appeared before Dávila last month along with his lawyers in an effort to persuade the judge to allow him to remain free while he pursues his own appeal. Dávila has not yet ruled on Holmes’s request.

Dávila last month denied Balwani’s request to remain free while he appeals his conviction on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy and ordered him to report to jail on March 16. Balwani then avoided having to appear on that date by appealing Dávila’s ruling against him.

But three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Balwani had not provided enough convincing evidence to convince them that his conviction is likely to be overturned.

The ruling means that Balwani will soon travel to Southern California to serve his sentence at a facility near a port in San Pedro, California, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from downtown Los Angeles. Terminal Island Prison has incarcerated several other prominent figures, including gangster Al Capone in the 1930s, doomsday cult leader Charles Manson for a carjacking in the 1950s, and LSD evangelist Timothy Leary in the 1970s.

Although they had separate trials, Holmes and Balwani were charged with essentially the same crimes centering on a scheme that promoted Theranos’ blood-testing system as a revolutionary advance in health care. The claims helped the company become a Silicon Valley sensation that raised nearly $1 billion from investors.

But their technology never came close to working as Holmes and Balwani boasted, resulting in the scandalous collapse of Theranos and a criminal case that shed a bright light on Silicon Valley’s greed and arrogance.


Add Comment