Elizabeth Holmes’ former associate Sunny Balwani sentenced to 13 years in jail

Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a defence legal professional, described Balwani’s bid for a light-weight sentence as “completely unrealistic.” Levin suspects the choose might give larger weight to the Justice Division and the probation workplace suggestions, which mirror the sentences these businesses hunted for Holmes.

The choose in the end gave her greater than 11 years in jail and beneficial that the sentence be served in a low-security facility in Byran, Texas.

Federal prosecutors additionally need the choose to order Balwani to pay $US804 million ($1.2 billion) in restitution to defrauded buyers — the identical quantity sought from Holmes. Davila deferred a choice on restitution throughout Holmes’ November 18 sentencing till an unspecified future date.

In court docket paperwork, Balwani’s legal professionals painted him as a hardworking immigrant who moved from India to the US throughout the Eighties to turn into the primary member of his household to attend school. He graduated from the College of Texas in 1990 with a level in data methods.

He later moved to Silicon Valley, the place he first labored as a pc programmer for Microsoft earlier than founding an internet startup that he offered for thousands and thousands of {dollars} throughout the dot-com growth of the Nineteen Nineties.

Balwani and Holmes met across the similar time she dropped out of Stanford College to begin Theranos in 2003. He turned enthralled together with her and her quest to revolutionise well being care.

The case threw a shiny mild on Silicon Valley’s darkish aspect, exposing how its tradition of hype and boundless ambition may veer into lies.

Balwani’s legal professionals mentioned he finally invested about $US5 million in a stake in Theranos that finally turned value about $US500 million on paper — a fraction of Holmes’ one-time fortune of $US4.5 billion.

That wealth evaporated after Theranos started to unravel in 2015 amid revelations that its blood-testing know-how by no means labored as Holmes had boasted in glowing journal articles that likened her to Silicon Valley visionaries corresponding to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Earlier than Theranos’ downfall, Holmes teamed up with Balwani to lift practically $US1 billion from deep-pocketed buyers that included software program mogul Larry Ellison and media magnate Rupert Murdoch.


“Mr. Balwani just isn’t the identical as Elizabeth Holmes,” his legal professionals wrote in a memo to the choose. “”He truly invested thousands and thousands of {dollars} of his personal cash; he by no means sought fame or recognition; and he has a protracted historical past of quietly giving to these much less lucky.” Balwani’s legal professionals additionally asserted that Holmes “was dramatically extra culpable” for the Theranos fraud.

Echoing comparable claims made by Holmes’s legal professionals earlier than her sentencing, Balwani’s attorneys additionally argued that he has been adequately punished by the extreme media protection of Theranos, which has been the topic of a e book, documentary and award-winning TV sequence.

Balwani “has misplaced his profession, his popularity and his skill to meaningfully work once more,” his legal professionals wrote.

Federal prosecutors forged Balwani as a ruthless, power-hungry confederate in crimes that ripped off buyers and imperiled individuals who acquired flawed outcomes. The blood assessments have been to be accessible in a partnership with Walgreen’s that Balwani helped engineer.

“Balwani introduced a pretend story about Theranos’ know-how and monetary stability day after day in assembly after assembly,” the prosecutors wrote of their memo to the choose. “Balwani maintained this façade of accomplishments, after making the calculated determination that honesty would destroy Theranos.”


The Enterprise Briefing e-newsletter delivers main tales, unique protection and professional opinion. Signal as much as get it each weekday morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.