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A judge rules that Elizabeth Holmes cannot remain free during appeal

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, March 17, 2023.
Jeff Chiu
/
AP
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, March 17, 2023.

A California federal judge has denied Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes' request to remain free on bail as the former leader of the medical technology startup tries to appeal her conviction for wire fraud, according to court documents filed Monday.

In January 2022, Holmes was convicted of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after a jury found that she defrauded investors out of more than $100 million over a blood-testing device that did not work as advertised.

She was later sentenced to 11 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Holmes filed for an appeal in December 2022.

A court may allow a release during an appeal if the defendant is not seen as a flight risk or threat to the community, the request isn't used to delay the defendant going to prison or the appeal raises a substantial question of facts or law.

The U.S. District Court Northern District of California ruled that while Holmes is not seen as a danger to the community or flight risk, she has not successfully presented new evidence. In her appeal, Holmes argued she did not promote a faulty product, though the court ruled "these disputes do not directly pertain to the conduct for which Ms. Holmes was convicted."

"Ms. Holmes's misrepresentations to Theranos investors involved more than just whether Theranos technology 'worked as promised,'" the court's opinion says. "Ms. Holmes had also made several misrepresentations...such as those regarding the company's financial status, reliance on third-party and commercially available devices, partnership with Walgreens, and validation by pharmaceutical companies."

Holmes, 39, founded Theranos when she was an undergraduate student at Stanford University. The company promised that its technology could screen patients for diseases with a sample from a single finger prick of blood rather than a full blood draw.

Holmes attracted nearly $1 billion in investments even as the technology did not work as claimed. Its results were often faulty, and the company frequently relied on commercially available blood analyzer machines to conduct its tests.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Ayana Archie