Ex-Theranos COO Sunny Balwani sentenced to just about 13 years in jail

Former Theranos chief working officer and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was sentenced to just about 13 years in jail Wednesday for fraud, after the unraveling of the blood-testing juggernaut prompted felony expenses in California federal court docket in opposition to each Balwani and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who on Nov. 18 was sentenced to greater than 11 years in jail.

Through the sentencing listening to, attorneys for Balwani tried to pin the blame on Holmes, telling U.S. District Court docket Decide Edward J. Davila that “selections have been made by Elizabeth Holmes.”

Davila had set a sentencing vary of 11 years plus 3 months to 14 years, however prosecutors at the moment sought a 15-year sentence given his “vital” oversight function at Theranos’ lab enterprise.

The ultimate guideline sentence was 155 months, plus three years of probation. Davila set a Mar. 15, 2023, give up date.

Sunny Balwani, former president of Theranos Inc., arrives at federal court docket in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Balwani and Holmes, former romantic companions, helmed Theranos as the corporate loved a meteoric rise, attracting backers starting from the DeVos household to information magnate Rupert Murdoch. It was one in every of Murdoch’s publications, The Wall Avenue Journal, that first reported on irregularities with Theranos’ purportedly revolutionary blood-testing machines.

As COO, Balwani managed each the laboratory enterprise and the monetary facets of the corporate. Theranos was marred with repeated failures throughout his tenure, together with falsified paperwork and inaccurate take a look at outcomes.

“I’m chargeable for every little thing at Theranos,” Balwani stated in a message to Holmes. Balwani assumed broad accountability for day-to-day operations on the firm.

Theranos claimed the machines required only a few drops of blood to run and will execute greater than 1,000 assessments. In actuality, the Journal reported the corporate might solely course of a little bit over a dozen assessments. The Journal’s reporting finally prompted the corporate’s dissolution in 2018 and, later, the arrest of Balwani and Holmes on fraud expenses.

Balwani’s sentencing in federal court docket marks the tip of the Theranos saga, which enthralled the general public and prompted documentary movies and novel therapies.

With a star-studded investor record, a fascinating founder who drew comparisons to Apple’s Steve Jobs, and a probably revolutionary expertise, the corporate for a time represented the apex of Silicon Valley ingenuity.

The revelations about Theranos led to a shocking fall from grace for each Balwani and Holmes, who have been in a relationship for a lot of their tenure on the firm. Holmes accused Balwani of abuse in court docket proceedings, offering textual content messages and contemporaneous notes from their relationship as proof.

“Kill the outdated Elizabeth,” Balwani purportedly instructed her.

Balwani perpetrated a “decade-long marketing campaign of psychological abuse,” Holmes’ legal professionals argued. Balwani is sort of 20 years older than Holmes, who testified that he managed the lab and monetary facet of the enterprise.

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