Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes attempted to flee the United States after her January 2022 fraud conviction, prosecutors said in a new court filing.
Holmes was convicted on three felony counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Those charges sprang from her misleading of investors in the startup company's blood-testing technology. Her conviction capped her stunning downfall from darling of the media and powerful individuals to prison-bound felon.
In November, a federal judge sentenced Holmes to 11.25 years in prison, but she isn't behind bars yet. The judge ordered her to surrender herself to prison on April 27. That time was meant to allow time for Holmes to deliver her second baby.
Now, her lawyers have asked the judge to let her remain free while her conviction appeal is adjudicated, and they also want him to ease restrictions on her travel.
Arguing against that request, government prosecutors told the judge that Holmes made "an attempt to flee the country shortly after she was convicted":
"The government became aware on January 23, 2022, that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, without a scheduled return trip. Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled."
The government says her partner, William Evans, also bought a one-way ticket which he used on Jan 26, returning "approximately six weeks later...from a different continent."
Last January, Holmes' lawyer told prosecutors that she made the reservation before the verdict, intending to attend a friend's wedding. However, the verdict was handed down on Jan. 3 and prosecutors say the ticket was purchased Jan. 23.
Prosecutors noted that, beyond the suspicious ticket purchase, her flight risk is magnified by her continued access to significant financial resources:
“(Holmes) has lived on an estate for over a year where, based upon the monthly cash flow statement (Holmes) provided to the U.S. Probation Office, monthly expenses exceed $13,000,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
They also said Holmes "has shown no remorse to the victims of her fraud, despite an associated loss that the Court found was at least $120 million."
This is not how you do it. First you buy the one way flight to Mexico, but you never go. Then you call Carlos Ghosn's guy. He'll be there in 5 minutes. Do whatever he says. Yes there's enough oxygen in the box. You'll wake up in Beirut. It'll be great.https://t.co/uNdDLptCs4— Jacob Silverman (@SilvermanJacob) January 21, 2023