According to court documents filed on Monday, a federal judge in California has rejected Elizabeth Holmes’ plea to be released on bail while she appeals her conviction for wire fraud, as the former head of the medical technology startup, Theranos, attempts to clear her name. Holmes was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in January 2022, after a jury determined that she had deceived investors by promising a blood-testing device that failed to perform as advertised, resulting in losses of over $100 million.
In December 2022, Holmes made a request for an appeal after being sentenced to 11 years in jail and three years of supervised release. It is possible for a court to grant a release during an appeal if the defendant is not considered a danger to society or a flight risk, if the request is not an attempt to postpone imprisonment, and if the appeal raises significant legal or factual concerns.
The U.S. District Court Northern District of California has decided that although Holmes does not pose a threat to society or a flight risk, she has not effectively offered any new evidence. In her challenge, Holmes contended that she did not endorse a defective product, but the court determined that “these disagreements are not directly related to the behavior for which Ms. Holmes was found guilty.”
According to the court’s opinion, Ms. Holmes’ misrepresentations to Theranos investors were not limited to the functionality of the company’s technology. She also made false statements regarding Theranos’ financial state, use of third-party equipment, partnership with Walgreens, and validation by pharmaceutical companies.
At the young age of being an undergraduate student at Stanford University, Holmes, 39, established Theranos. Their technology boasted the ability to screen patients for diseases through just one finger prick of blood, avoiding the need for a full blood draw. Despite the technology’s inability to perform as promised, Holmes managed to attract almost $1 billion in investments. The tests often displayed incorrect results, and the company frequently relied on blood analyzer machines that were already commercially available.