Former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani sentenced to 13 years in prison

Former Theranos chief operating officer and president Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani said Wednesday that he had committed fraud after clarification of the blood test juggernaut prompted criminal charges against Balwani and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in California federal court. was sentenced to about 13 years in prison. November 18th Sentenced to 11 years or more in prison.

During the sentencing hearing, Balwani’s attorneys attempted to pin Holmes accountability and told U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila that “the decision was made by Elizabeth Holmes.”

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Davila had set a sentence range of 11 years plus three months to 14 years, but prosecutors Wednesday gave him a 15-year sentence, given his “significant” oversight role in Theranos’ lab business. asked for judgment.

The final guideline sentence was 155 months and 3 years probation. Davila has set a surrender date of March 15, 2023.

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

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Balwani and Holmes were once romantic partners, and Theranos has risen like a meteor, drawing supporters from the DeVos clan to news mogul Rupert Murdoch. One of Murdoch’s publications, The Wall Street Journal, first reported anomalies in Theranos’ purported breakthrough blood-testing device.

As COO, Balwani managed both the laboratory operations and the financial aspects of the company. During his tenure, Theranos made a series of mistakes, including falsifying documents and erroneous test results.

“I am responsible for all of Theranos,” said Balwani. message to Holmes. Balwani assumed a wide range of responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the company.

Theranos claimed the machine could run on just a few drops of blood and perform over 1,000 tests. In fact, the WSJ reported that the company was only able to handle a little over a dozen tests. The publication’s coverage ultimately led to him disbanding the company in 2018, after which Balwani and Holmes were arrested on fraud charges.

Balwani’s verdict in federal court put an end to Theranos’ story, which captivated the public and prompted documentary films and novel treatment.

With a star-studded investor list, a compelling founder compared to Apple’s Steve Jobs, and potentially revolutionary technology, the company represented the pinnacle of Silicon Valley ingenuity for some time. was doing.

The Theranos revelation brought a surprising fall from grace for both Balwani and Holmes, who had been involved for much of their tenure with the company. Holmes accused Balwani of abusing him in court proceedings, offering text messages and contemporaneous notes from their relationship as evidence.

“Kill old Elizabeth,” Balwani is said to have told her.

Holmes’ attorneys argued that Balwani carried out a “decade-long campaign of psychological abuse.” Balwani testifies that Holmes was nearly twenty years his senior, and that Holmes controlled the laboratory and the financial aspects of the business. Former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani sentenced to 13 years in prison

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