Business

What’s next for Elizabeth Holmes?

After the jurors were discharged, Holmes donned a mask and appeared emotionless, and went to the line of her supporters in the San Jose courtroom. She hugged each of them, starting with her partner Billy Evans, then her mother, father, and friends, and she hugged each of them by putting an arm on their shoulder and holding a pen in her hand.

With that, Holmes, 37, began the next chapter of her life as a rare Silicon Valley founder tried and convicted her. Hailed as the next Steve Jobs for his ambitious promise to build technology that can test a wide range of conditions with just a few drops of blood, Holmes now faces the possibility of serving years in prison.

Here’s what’s next for Holmes and her high-profile court case, which has been going on for nearly four months.

The charges against Holmes included one count of conspiracy to defraud investors, as well as three counts of internet fraud linked to specific investors. But the jury also decided that Holmes was not guilty of three additional counts of patient fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud patients — part of a government case that has spent relatively little time escalating compared to its investor case.

The jurors did not rule on three federal fraud charges linked to other investors — each investing in Theranos in its early days and then again later, with their subsequent investments making up the charges in question.

The court indicated in a filing Tuesday that it had declared the trial invalid on the three charges that the jurors had not agreed upon. Then, the prosecution will decide whether it intends to retrial Holmes on those charges — something legal experts have indicated they will almost certainly withdraw from at this point given the guilty verdict on four counts. Once that is determined, the conversation will turn to Holmes’ judgment.

judgment

According to the indictment, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, which is likely to be served concurrently. But that doesn’t mean she’ll get the maximum penalty, or anywhere close to it. The judge ultimately makes the decision as he sees fit, referring to sentencing guidelines.

Miriam Bayer, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, said a number of factors play a role in the potential verdict on Holmes that Judge Edward Davila will determine.

Shan Wu, a criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, said he expected any prison time to be minimal “primarily” because of Holmes’ “lack of criminal history.” But he said the dollar amount of losses linked to the wire fraud charges is significant, and will be taken into account when sentencing.

Possibility to appeal

While the defense has not filed a notice of appeal, legal experts say it is likely on the horizon, which could affect how long Holmes serves her time if she is sentenced to prison.

According to George Demos, a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney general and associate professor of law at UC Davis School of Law, issues that the defense can raise as a basis for appeal may include “erratic jury instructions or incorrect evidentiary rulings by the court,” as an example.

While an appeal may delay the outcome, Keri Axel, a trial attorney for the Waymaker and a former federal prosecutor, noted that “criminal convictions are rarely overturned, and the fact that a jury has dismissed the verdict will underscore how carefully she did her job.”

free on bonds

Holmes was not returned after sentencing and remained free on bail.

Discussing post-sentencing issues, Attorney General Jeffrey Schenk indicated that the government would like to convert Holmes’ release clause into a secured bond. This means that she will need to post something of value — “either in the form of property or cash, if available,” Schenk said — so that if she does not appear in court for future proceedings, it can be forfeited.

A target date of January 12 has been set to deal with the matter.

As she left the courtroom around 5:30 p.m. local time on Monday, Holmes was bombarded with cameras and journalists. She left Holmes with her entry most days, along with her mother and partner Billy Evans, who also teamed up with Holmes’ father and friend, to form a human chain.

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