Elizabeth Holmes Is Convicted.  How Much Time In Prison Is The Theranos Founder Realistically Facing? 

Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court after the verdict in San Jose, Calif., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Holmes was convicted of fraud for turning her blood-testing startup Theranos into a sophisticated sham that duped billionaires and other unwitting investors into backing a seemingly revolutionary company whose medical technology never worked as promised. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

After months of testimony and over 50 hours of deliberations, the jury in the Elizabeth Holmes fraud trial found her guilty of four charges.  To simplify matters, they determined that the charismatic but odd Theranos founder intentionally lied to investors to raise billions of dollars for her blood-testing company.  

She, of course, had promised that her equipment would revolutionize blood testing and health care in general, but we all know it didn’t work out that way. 

So, if you’re like most people who followed her trial and career, you’re wondering what that means for the 37-year old’s future.  Remember, she recently had a baby, and she married into an incredibly wealthy family in the hotel industry. She and her husband Billy Evans live in a $135 million Silicon Valley estate. 

Going to prison would severely alter her lifestyle.  

Although each gully count could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison, in reality, she won’t have to worry about moving into a prison cell for at least a little while.

This was an incredibly complex trial, and the sentencing phase will be equally complex and time-consuming. Multiple steps still stand between Holmes and a prison yard. 

She will most likely be allowed to stay free on bail until sentencing, which legal experts say won’t happen for at least six months. 

The next order of business is having a probation officer examine the facts of the case and assembling a pre-sentence report for the court.  That has to be provided to both the prosecutors and defense at least 45 days before the sentencing hearing. 

Her lawyers most likely would push back on the findings, creating more delays. 

There is a maximum sentence of 20 years for each guilty charge but no minimum sentence, and the ultimate decision lies in the hands of U.S. District Judge Edward Davila. 

Oh, one more thing.  She will undoubtedly appeal, and if her legal team is creative and polished and the judge goes easy on her, she could ultimately be looking at two years or less in prison. 

Stay tuned!

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