Yeah, so, Elizabeth Holmes doesn't really think she should have to pay back the bilked investors who lost money because of Theranos's collapse, and her lawyers' latest gambit is to try to get out of her having to pay any restitution at all.
It's all just eyerolls at this point as Elizabeth Holmes and her lawyers try to slow-walk her trip to prison and try as they might to get her November conviction overturned or lessened in some way. The disgraced Theranos co-founder is still scheduled to report to an as-yet-unnamed federal prison on April 27, and her legal team was busy filing motions last month in the hopes of delaying that — noting that she just gave birth to a second child.
Now, as Bay Area News Group reports, her lawyers have filed a motion to counter one from federal prosecutors, saying that Holmes's actions did not directly cause the collapse of Theranos and therefore lead to investors' losses — and the judge in the case, Judge Edward Davila, reportedly ruled in January that prosecutors have not established this. But, spuriously, Holmes's team is now suggesting that — get this! — the prosecution has not "shown that the investor-victims it identifies relied on the offense conduct when deciding to invest."
In non-legalese they're trying to say that Holmes's established fraud, in selling investors on a blood-testing technology that basically didn't exist, wasn't the main reason they decided to invest in Theranos. So what was the reason? Her weird deep voice?
This may be a way that the attorneys are trying to split the responsibility and therefore the restitution — since her co-defendant in the scheme, former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani, was also convicted of fraud and will also likely be facing restitution. Balwani was sentenced to 13 years in prison, two more years than Holmes got.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion last month seeking full restitution from Holmes of everything owed to investors, or $878 million. Her lawyers are asking Davila not to demand any restitution at all. A safe bet will be that the restitution number will be somewhere between zero and $878 million.
A hearing to decide restitution is happening on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
Judge Davila didn't address restitution in her November 18 sentencing hearing, during which he told Holmes, "Failure is normal. But failure by fraud is not OK."
And it seems likely that he will demand restitution from Holmes, but it's a matter of how much — and she may not be able to pay it for many years anyway. According to court filings, per Bay Area News Group, Holmes allegedly "continues to work on ideas for patents" (which, ha!), and she currently "has essentially no assets of meaningful value."
She does have an independently wealthy fiancé who we thought was her husband already, Billy Evans — court documents call him a fiancé despite several reports of a "secret" wedding four years ago, but who knows how this all works? And the two of them haven't exactly been living an impoverished life, on a rented estate in Woodside.
But getting any money out of Holmes could prove difficult... unless of course she tries this all over again and starts a new company, which she will be legally allowed to do again starting in 2028, though she's likely to still be in prison then.
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