It’s Elizabeth Holmes’s last weekend of freedom before prison

It's Elizabeth Holmes's last weekend of freedom before prison

By Miles Dilworth, Senior Reporter For Dailymail.Com

12:43 22 Apr 2023, updated 12:43 22 Apr 2023

  • Fraudster set to start her jail term on Thursday despite desperate bids to avoid it
  • Her family begged a judge not to separate Holmes, 38, from her young children
  • She is expected to end up at a federal female prison offering ‘parenting classes’

She was once the youngest female billionaire in the US and described as the ‘next Steve Jobs’.

On Thursday, Elizabeth Holmes may merely be the next inmate to walk through the doors of a federal prison. At her November sentencing, Judge Edward Davila recommended Holmes serve at the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas.

This weekend, the disgraced Theranos founder will spend her final weekend as a free woman before she starts an 11-year stint behind bars.

One of her last ditch attempts to avoid that fate involved a dossier of self-pity in which her husband, Billy Evans, begged a judge not to separate her from her two children. This week, she again pleaded with Davila to reverse her conviction, claiming it was unjust.

It is a fair assumption, then, that Holmes is spending her final days of freedom with Evans, the heir to a hotel management group, and their two sons.

Elizabeth Holmes was once the youngest female billionaire in the US and described as the ‘next Steve Jobs’ before her spectacular downfall. She is picture in the documentary ‘The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley’, which detailed Holmes’ ambition to revolutionize bloodtesting through biotechnology, and the spawn of one of the biggest frauds in Silicon Valley
Holmes was said to have worshipped Steve Jobs and mimicked every aspect of his life – down to his signature black turtleneck. The turtle necks are long gone and now,she will be forced to wear prison’s pastel green, gray and white outfits
This weekend, the disgraced Theranos founder will spend her final weekend as a free woman before she starts an 11-year stint behind bars. Holmes is pictured here with her son in a court filing that paints her as a doting mother

Holmes with her son, feeding a neighbor’s horse
Holmes with her husband Billy Evans and their son
Holmes gave birth to her second chld this here. She is seen in this image not long after giving birth to her first son in August 2021

Three days after Holmes’ conviction, she was pictured on a walk with her family. Her husband, hotel heir Billy Evans carried the couple’s then-seven-month-old baby son, William

After Holmes’ conviction in January 2022, the couple were living in a $135million Silicon Valley estate in Woodside, California.

The 74-acre property, which requires around $13,000 in monthly upkeep alone, is a far cry from her probable next dwelling, a shared dormitory in Camp Bryan, as it is known.

There she will be surrounded not by Evans, 30, and two children, but around 540 female inmates convicted of federal white-collar crimes.

Holmes, 38, was convicted of four fraud charges for deceiving investors of $9billion and for bilking thousands of patients with inaccurate and false medical reports.

The Stanford University dropout, who founded Theranos aged 19, duped thousands of patients with bogus claims that her startup could conduct a full range of medical tests using blood from a simple finger prick.

Holmes denied fraud during her trial, which was delayed following the birth of her son William in July 2021. She maintained that she was honest throughout her appeals to investors and others.

Holmes shows ‘no remorse’, prosecutors said, and she is still desperate to avoid jail.

Her first attempt to dodge it came in an 11th hour bid to sway US District Judge Edward Davila, who was due to sentence her.

On November 17, Holmes’ family and friends submitted gushing letters and dozens of photographs to the court.

Among the 137 letters was one from Evans, begging for mercy.

‘Dear Judge Davila, My name is Billy Evans, and you hold the life of my partner in your hands,’ he began.

‘While Liz is incredibly hopeful, I realize she is terribly scared. This process is a string of unlikely events that lawyers, advisors and board members all told her would never come to be,’ he said.

After Holmes’ conviction in January 2022, she and her family were living in a $135million Silicon Valley estate in Woodside, California

Evans, who himself is the heir to Evans Hotels in California, claimed Holmes was the most selfless person he had ever met and that she volunteered at a women’s helpline.

The scion said the pair had ‘found true love in one another, in the building of our family and the sheer amazement of watching our son grow up before our eyes’.

He continued: ‘My son at the time of writing this letter has just passed his 14th month on this earth.

‘I wish you could see his happiness; his deep belly laughs that Liz helps encourage and the confidence of a young mind who does not yet appreciate some of the difficulties this world has to offer him.

‘His bond with Liz is incredible, I think it is all she has ever wanted, to love and care for someone so fully. I wish you could see Liz and I dancing in the kitchen, in our arms, giving him ‘doubles’ as we kiss both sides of his cheeks.

‘I wish you could see the mile long grin and four buck teeth smiling back at us when he catches Liz and I kissing or embracing each other.’

The letter rambled on, before building to its nauseating finale.

‘I just hope, Your Honor, that my letter helps you know her,’ Evans begged.

‘That these words ripped from my heart and thrown on this page can help you see what I know to be true.

‘If you are to know Liz, it is to know that she is honest, humble, selfless, and kind beyond what most people have ever experienced. Please let her be free.’

Evans told the judge sentencing Holmes that the pair had ‘found true love in one another, in the building of our family and the sheer amazement of watching our son grow up before our eyes’
‘She is my whole life, my mentor, my guide during the darkest times of self-doubt and inadequacy,’ wrote Holmes’ partner in a pleading letter to the judge ahead of her sentencing
Elizabeth Holmes as a fresh-faced teen and Stanford student. These are among the dozens of photos submitted to the judge ahead of her sentencing
Elizabeth Holmes as a fresh-faced teen and Stanford student. These are among the dozens of photos submitted to the judge ahead of her sentencing
Holmes as a child with her father and brother, who are both called Christian. They both wrote to the judge to beg for her freedom

Elizabeth’s mother, Noel, begged the judge: ‘As a parent, I beg you to see her goodness, her unique circumstances and her promise’

Holmes with her parents and brother. Her mother attended every day of the civil trial

But the pleas to allow Holmes to remain free fell on deaf ears. The following day, Judge Davila sentenced Holmes to 11 years and three months behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release.

Holmes, who used to fake an impossibly deep baritone voice in front of employees to appear authoritative, broke down in tears when she read her statement to the court. ‘I am devastated by my failings,’ she said. ‘I have felt deep pain for what people went through because I failed them.’

Unusually, her sentence was longer than the nine years proposed by the probation officer assigned to the case (Holmes’ lawyers had asked for just 18 months of house arrest).

But it was a high-profile case and the court wanted to show it took fraud seriously.

US Attorney Stephanie Hinds said her sentence reflected ‘the audacity of her massive fraud and the staggering damage she caused’.

Judge Davila recommended she be sent to the minimum-security women’s federal prison, Camp Bryan, about 100 miles north of Houston, where Holmes attended high school.

There, Holmes may be interested in opportunities to partake in ‘parenting classes’, as well as courses in medical coding, small business administration and accounting.

She could view the many inmate jobs on offer, that include kitchen jobs, carpentry, electricals, decorating, plumbing and general maintenance, as the first tentative steps towards rebuilding her fortune.

She will have access to tennis courts, a running track, music programs, art and hobby craft classes, a library and gym.

The massive Silicon Valley estate where Holmes and her family lived after her conviction. It sits on 74-acres and includes seven individual houses, a Roman-themed swimming pool, a tennis court and a private orchard
The judge recommended she serve her more than 11-year sentence in Bryan, Texas – 1,800 miles away from her family in California

But she will be forced to give up her signature all-black look in exchange for pastel green, gray and white outfits.

One notable former inmate is Lea Fastow, a former Enron Assistant Treasurer and wife to Andrew Fastow, the former Enron CEO.

Fastow served 11 months at Camp Bryan in 2014-2015 after pleading guilty to several counts of fraud.

Coincidentally, Holmes’ father, Christian Holmes IV, was also an executive for Enron, although it is not known if he knew Fastow and there is no suggestion he was involved in wrongdoing.

It might not be the family connection his daughter wishes to be reminded of, although she may be grateful that Bryan is more accommodating to visitors than other prisons.

Holmes will be afforded weekend visits and up to 300 minutes of prepaid phone use at 15 minutes-a-call for most of the year, subject to strict monitoring from staff.

But distance may make visitation hard for her family, whom she would be much closer to if she were sent to the minimum-security prison in Dublin, California, an hour’s drive from San Francisco.

Holmes has played upon this in further attempts to postpone her internment.

In March, her attorneys revealed she had given birth to her second child, although did not disclose when.

They argued that her position as a mother of two young children meant she did not pose a flight risk and should remain out of prison while she appealed her conviction.

The tactic failed again.

Earlier this month, Judge Davila concluded that even if Holmes won her appeal to challenge the evidence presented at her trial, it wouldn’t result in a reversal or a new trial of all the counts she was found guilty of.

On Monday, Holmes’ defense team argued in a 132-filing that the federal prosecutor’s case ‘parroted the public narrative’ that she knowingly and intentionally lied to investors.

The case against her is well-documented.

She was convicted of defrauding investors in the failed blood-testing startup that was once valued at $9billion
Elizabeth Holmes was 19 when she founded Theranos in 2003. She claimed that her biotech startup would revolutionize healthcare by creating cheap and accessible blood tests that could screen hundreds of diseases with just the prick of a finger

Theranos touted its ‘Edison’ blood analysis device as a magical mini lab that could process more than 240 tests – from cholesterol to cancer – within one hour.

The Silicon Valley startup raised $900million and was more valuable than Uber, Spotify and AirBnB.

Holmes graced the covers of countless magazines including Fortune, Forbes and The New York Times Style Magazine.

She was named one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ of 2015.

But that same year, John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal began investigating Theranos after receiving a tip from a medical expert who was suspicious of its technology.

His initial findings were published in October 2015, detailing how blood tests were often secretly conducted on third party commercial machines made by Siemens and – unbeknown to investors – when results came back they were often flawed or false.

Holmes denied the claims, but in January 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) exposed irregularities at Theranos’ lab in Newark, California.

She was banned from owning or operating a blood-testing service for two years.

Steadily, the case against her built. The State of Arizona sued her in 2017, before she and Ramesh Balwani, her former lover and Theranos president, were charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2018.

Its $10billion valuation was worth ‘less than zero’ overnight. Operations were shut down.

Holmes claimed she had revolutionary equipment to help diagnose medical diseases. Pictured: Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court in San Jose, California, March 17, 2023
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and her partner, Billy Evans, leave federal court in San Jose, California, March 17, 2023

Her bizarre, ‘pathological’ personality was exposed during her four-month trial. Former employees revealed how she painstakingly cultivated the comparison to Jobs, the former Apple CEO.

Not only did she adopt his signature style of black turtlenecks, but also his strict veganism and green juice diet that consisted of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery.

Dozens of personal notes were released as evidence, including one leaked ‘note to self’ obtained by CNBC that said simply: ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’.

Holmes’ extraordinary rise was attributed to her ability to surround herself with well respected-men who bolstered her credibility.

Her earliest seed money came through family connections.

Her father’s college friends introduced her to Oracle investor Dan Lucas, who then brought founder Larry Ellison on board.

According to unsealed documents from several lawsuits brought against Theranos, other investors included: the founders of Walmart, who gave $150million; Rupert Murdoch, who invested $125million; the DeVos family office put in $100million.

Her Board of Directors included: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former Secretary of State; Labor and Treasury, George Shultz;; two former Secretaries of Defense, Bill Perry and James ‘Mad-Dog’ Mattis; and several former senators.

Kissinger described Holmes as ‘an excellent businesswoman’, adding: ‘You have to remember, she has a sort of ethereal quality. She is like a member of a monastic order.’

Prosecutors alleged that one of Holmes’ scams was to dupe investors into believing Theranos had military contracts, claiming Edison was being used on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

She even had a phony endorsement from Mattis, who told the trial: ‘There just came a point when I didn’t know what to believe about Theranos anymore.’

In 2015, then-Vice President Joe Biden heralded Theranos as ‘a laboratory of the future’. He is pictured with Holmes in Newark, California, July 23, 2015
In 2015, President Bill Clinton invited Holmes to speak at a panel for the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting alongside Alibaba’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma
Holmes’ success hinged on a powerful and established board. Sitting on her Board of Directors, were two former Secretaries of State, two Secretaries of Defense, and the Former CEO of Wells Fargo
Some of the biggest Theranos investors included: the founders of Walmart, who gave $150million; Rupert Murdoch, who invested $125million; the Devos family office put in $100million. In addition to the scions of the Cox telecommunications family who lost $100million, as well as the Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, Robert Kraft and the Oppenheimer family who once owned De Beers diamonds

Then Vice President Joe Biden visited a Theranos facility in 2015, describing it as ‘a laboratory of the future’.

But what Biden saw that day was rigged, former Theranos chief design architect Ana Arriola told ABC News.

They simply cleared a room, gave it a lick of paint and stocked it with every Edison machine they could get their hands on.

Holmes’ attorneys say ‘the reality differed significantly from that narrative’. In their court filings, they state: ‘Highly credentialed Theranos scientists told Holmes in real time the technology worked. Outsiders who reviewed the technology said it worked. Theranos’ groundbreaking developments received many patents. And in 2015 the US Food & Drug Administration approved an assay on Theranos’ proprietary technology.’

Holmes fights on to clear her name, but her long struggle to remain free is at an end.


2003 – Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 to found Theranos, pitching its technology as a cheaper way to run dozens of blood tests with just a prick of a finger and a few droplets of blood. Holmes said she was inspired to start the company in response to her fear of needles.

2004 – Theranos raises $6.9million and is valued at $30million.

2007 – Theranos is valued at $200million.

2010 – Investors bought what Holmes was selling and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the company. She said in a July Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it had raised $45million. It is valued at $1billion.

2013 Theranos announces partnership with Walgreens.

2014 – Theranos was worth more than $9billion and Holmes the nation’s youngest self-made female billionaire, hailed by Fortune magazine.

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and chief executive officer of Theranos Inc., speaks during the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco, California, on November 2, 2015

February 2015 In The Journal of the American Medical Association, a Stanford School of Medicine professor criticizes failure to publish anything in peer-reviewed biomedical journals. A notoriously secretive company, Theranos shared very little about its blood-testing machine with the public or medical community.

October 2015 – An investigation by The Wall Street Journal found that Theranos’ technology was inaccurate at best, and that the company was using routine blood-testing equipment for the vast majority of its tests. The story raised concerns about the accuracy of Theranos’ blood testing technology, which put patients at risk of having conditions either misdiagnosed or ignored, and Theranos temporarily halts finger prick tests.

June 2016 – Walgreens ended its blood-testing partnership with the company.

July 2016 – Department of Health and Human Services effectively banned Theranos in 2016 from doing any blood testing work at all.

2018 – Holmes forfeits control of Theranos and agrees to pay a $500,000 fine to settle charges by the SEC that she had committed a ‘massive fraud’ that saw investors pour $700million into the firm.

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