A federal judge on Monday, fairly predictably, rejected Elizabeth Holmes's semi-final bid to delay her check-in date for prison, but no doubt her high-priced lawyers have one more appeal in them.
Convicted fraudster and disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who was convicted over 15 months ago in federal court and was convicted years ago in the court of public opinion, has had her lawyers doing their damndest to keep her out of prison as long as possible. She also chose to have two children in the last two years, enabling her to, first, delay her 2021 trial, and then, second, to show up pregnant for the sentencing phase and hope that this would curry some favor with the judge.
In an 11-page ruling on Monday, as NBC Bay Area reports, Judge Davila said there was not compelling evidence of prosecutorial missteps that would justify an appeal. And so, his originally assigned prison reporting date of April 27 still stands.
Davila has recommended that Holmes serve her time at a minimum-security facility in Bryan, Texas — likely at the request of her own attorneys — but the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will have the final say on where she goes.
It seems more than likely that Holmes's legal team will attempt the Hail Mary appeal to the Ninth Circuit — something that Sunny Balwani already tried, and which failed for him, as the majority of such appeals do.
Bay Area News Group says they tried to contact Holmes's attorneys for comment on their plans, and they have not said anything.
Holmes has been trying to delay her prison time pending an appeal, and prosecutors have been pushing back the last two months arguing that Holmes is a flight risk. Evidence of that, they said, came with a one-way ticket she booked to Mexico for weeks after her conviction last year — something she says was booked optimistically before she knew she'd be convicted.
In his ruling Monday, Davila wrote that he did not believe she was a flight risk, and that she "is in no position to inflict similar harms of fraud on the community" in the near future.
We also learned, after Holmes gave birth to her second child in December or January, that she may not yet be legally married to her wealthy fiancé Billy Evans — which would make sense given his wealth and the possibility that she could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution to fraud victims.
Holmes herself claims to have no money — though she has been living in fairly high style in a Woodside rental estate — and the court has ordered her not to engage in any new business ventures before 2028.
Davila has said he would rule on the restitution question in April, but that was not part of Monday's ruling. He has previously estimated investor losses pegged to Holmes's crimes at $381 million, while prosecutors have put the number at $878 million.
Photo: Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes alongside her boyfriend Billy Evans, walks back to her hotel following a hearing at the Robert E. Peckham U.S. Courthouse on March 17, 2023 in San Jose, California. Holmes appeared in court for a restitution hearing. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)