SAN JOSE, Calif.— A federal judge on Thursday tentatively declined to overturn the jury conviction of disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on four felony counts of fraud and conspiracy. That leaves the former Silicon Valley star a step closer to serving prison time.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila won’t make that decision final until Oct. 17, when he is scheduled to sentence Holmes in the same San Jose, California, courtroom where a jury found her guilty of duping investors in her much-hyped blood-testing startup.
Holmes, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus restitution, for lying to investors about a Theranos technology she hailed as a revolution in healthcare but which in practice produced dangerously inaccurate results.
Amy Saharia, one of Holmes’ lawyers, tried to persuade Davila that the jury of eight men and four women had acted irrationally during their seven days of deliberations. The judge concluded that the jurors drew reasonable inferences from evidence presented at the trial, although he said he would still review some cases Saharia presented before making a final decision.
Thursday’s 90-minute hearing marked the first time Holmes has returned to the court since her Jan. 3 conviction. The verdict ended a nearly four-month trial that recounted Holmes’ remarkable rise from a Stanford University dropout in 2003 to a lionized entrepreneur once worth $4.5 billion before it all unraveled in 2015.
By Michael Liedtke