Elizabeth Holmes’ purchase of a one-way flight to Mexico was a ‘bold move,’ judge says in ruling that denied her request to remain free on bail


APRIL 11, 2023

A judge rejected a request by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to remain free on bail. – Getty

  • Elizabeth Holmes’ request to remain free on bail was denied on Monday by a US judge.
  • The judge described Holmes’ one-way ticket to Mexico as a “bold move” and “ill-advised.”
  • The Theranos founder is expected to begin serving her sentence in late April.

A US judge said Elizabeth Holmes cannot remain free on bail while she appeals her conviction on charges of defrauding investors.

Holmes, who was sentenced in November to 11 years and three months in prison, requested in December to remain free during her appeal. The founder of blood-testing startup Theranos was found guilty of four fraud-related charges.

Prosecutors said in January that Holmes bought a one-way flight to Mexico, which was set to take off three weeks after she was convicted of defrauding investors. They called it an “attempt to flee the country,” according to a filing.

In a court ruling filed on Monday, US District Judge Edward Davila said the flight wasn’t an attempt to flee, but was “ill-advised” nonetheless. The flight booking led to more scrutiny and speculation into Holmes’s personal affairs and motivations, he added.

Davila wrote that even if Holmes won her appeal to challenge the evidence on Theranos’ technology, it wouldn’t lead to a reversal or new trial of all of Holmes’s convictions.

“Contrary to her suggestion that accuracy and reliability were central issues to her convictions, Ms. Holmes’s misrepresentations to Theranos investors involved more than just whether Theranos technology worked as promised,” Davila wrote.

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Theranos’ former president and chief operating officer, also had his request to remain free on bail during his appeal denied, according to a court filing in March.

In a further reference to the Mexico flight, Davila wrote in the filing: “Booking international travel plans for a criminal defendant in anticipation of a complete defense victory is a bold move, and the failure to promptly cancel those plans after a guilty verdict is a perilously careless oversight.”

Davila wrote that the court didn’t consider Holmes to be a danger to the community and wasn’t likely to flee if she was released.

Lance Wade, Holmes’ attorney, said the trip was for a close friend’s wedding. Wade didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal US working hours about Monday’s court filing.

Holmes asked in March 2021 to delay the the trial because she was pregnant. A court filing in February showed she had given birth to a second child and asked the judge to postpone the start of her prison sentence to allow her to remain free while she appeals her conviction.

Courtesy/Source: This article originally appeared on Business Insider