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Elizabeth Holmes files new jail reprieve application as she files appeal

Five weeks before she is due to appear in jail, Elizabeth Holmes has decided to remain free on bail as she appeals her fraud.

Founder of Theranos Inc. appeared Friday before U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif., who presided over a four-month trial in 2021 and sentenced her in November to 11 1/4 years in prison. incarceration for defrauding investors in her blood testing startup.

Holmes has already filed an appeal against last year’s jury verdict finding her guilty on multiple counts of investor fraud. This process can take up to two years.

The government has Holmes’ passport, she has two small children, her bail is secured by her parents’ only home, and she continues to work on new inventions, her lawyers argued in the lawsuit, adding that “there is nothing criminal or dangerous about an idea or a patent.”

Her lawyers say her appeal raises “substantial issues” of law or fact. “After a complex litigation, there are many such issues here, any of which – if decided in favor of Ms Holmes – would require a new trial,” her lawyers said in a statement.

At Friday’s hearing, Davila was most interested in the government’s argument, put forward in January, that there was a risk that Holmes would try to escape if she remained at large in light of what happened a year earlier: a one-way ticket to Mexico was bought in Holmes’ house. name during her trial and before she was condemned.

The ticket may “suggest that return plans are not yet in place,” the judge said.

Amy Saharia, Holmes’ attorney, told the judge that prosecutors knew about the plane ticket and were silent on the matter long before they raised any objections. She said the ticket shouldn’t be a problem because it was purchased for a wedding that she and partner Billy Evans were hoping to attend, Saharia said. “They hoped that she would be acquitted and that they could stay and relax,” she said.

Prosecutors allege that Davila already gave Holmes “enough” time to report to jail because she became pregnant with her second child between the jury’s verdict and sentencing.

At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Volkar said Holmes’s conviction changed the calculus. According to Volkar, the lengthy term that Holmes faces along with her impending prison sentence is a motive for escaping, as Holmes legally requires her to prove that she does not risk escaping. “She has an uphill battle here,” she said.

Davila also accepted the government’s argument that Holmes should pay about $800 million in compensation to investors who lost money in Theranos. Holmes argued that she did not have to pay anything because the investors did not rely on the fraud she was convicted of in making decisions.

The judge said he would make a decision on bail and restitution in the first week of April.

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