The judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes recommends that she serve a sentence in a “prison camp.”

The judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes recommends that she serve a sentence in a “prison camp.”

  • Finance
  • November 23, 2022
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The judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison has recommended that she serve her sentence at a minimum-security women’s facility in Texas.

Judge Edward Davila of the Northern District of California recommended that Holmes serve at Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas, according to a court filing last week. The Bryan facility, which is about 100 miles northwest of Houston, houses about 540 female inmates in four dormitories on a 37-acre campus, according to its website.

Prison camps have “dormitory rooms, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no enclosure” and are “work and program-oriented,” according to the Bureau of Prisons. All inmates at the facility are required to work, which the camp’s orientation manual says they do for between 12 cents and $1.15 an hour.

Inmates have access to correspondence courses, board games, films and crafts, as well as a family counseling program to strengthen incarcerated parents’ relationships with their children.

The Bryan facility offers more forgiving family visits than other prisons, Yahoo News noted. Davila referenced this in his sentencing, writing, “The court finds that family visits promote rehabilitation.”

Holmes has a 16-month-old son with partner William Evans and is pregnant with a second child.

Front view of a lawn, a tree and a low-rise building

A view of Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. Bureau of Prisons

“[C]Compared to other places in the prison system, this place is heaven,” criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis told Bloomberg. When Holmes serves her sentence at the complex, she will see “no walls, no bars, no fences,” he noted.

It is not certain that Holmes will be sent to the Bryan facility. That is up to the Bureau of Prisons, which will make the final decision on where she will serve her sentence, although it will take Davila’s recommendation into account. Holmes, once hailed as a biotech prodigy, is due to check into a facility on April 27, 2023.

Holmes was convicted last week for her role in defrauding investors in Theranos, a once-promising blood-testing startup that collapsed after it was revealed its key technology wasn’t working as promised. Theranos was valued at $10 billion at its peak and attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from heavyweights like media mogul Rupert Murdoch, software billionaire Larry Ellison, Walmart’s Walton family, and the DeVos clan behind Amway.

A hearing on how much money Holmes will have to pay back is scheduled to take place at a later date. Prosecutors had asked for $804 million in repayment to investors who lost money in Theranos. Holmes is expected to appeal her conviction, which she must do within two weeks of the November 18 conviction.

Former Theranos Chief Operating Officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani has been convicted of 12 counts of fraud and is due to be sentenced in December.

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