Balwani and his girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes were found guilty of defrauding investors with claims if miracle blood test technology that never worked. Balwani, who was romantically linked to disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes — who later accused him of sexual and emotional abuse — was sentenced in a California federal court on Wednesday, according to a report by CNBC News. Founder & CEO of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes . (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images) Last month, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for deceiving deceiving investors and patients about her blood-testing startup. During Balwani’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday, the former Theranos COO’s lawyers reportedly tried to divert the attention onto to Holmes, telling U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila that “decisions were made by Elizabeth Holmes.” While prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence for Balwani, Judge Davila’s final guideline sentence was 155 months, plus three years of probation.
The former Theranos COO’s surrender date is set for March 15, 2023. During the trial, prosecutors presented internal documents and salacious texts between Holmes and Balwani, which revealed that the disgraced CEO boasted that she was the “best businessperson of the year,” just a year before the company fell apart amidst allegations of widespread fraud. Holmes’ attorneys claimed that she was manipulated by Balwani through “intimate partner abuse,” and had perpetrated a “decade-long campaign of psychological abuse” against the disgraced Theranos CEO.
Theranos suffered from repeated failures, resorting to falsifying documents and sharing erroneous test results, while Balwani, who managed the laboratory business and the financial aspects of the company, was COO. “I am responsible for everything at Theranos,” Balwani had reportedly said in a message to Holmes.
Theranos’ scandal involved the development of a device called the Edison, which allegedly needed only a few drops of blood to scan for hundreds of health problems. Current tests generally each require a vial of blood, making it both slow and impractical to run more than a handful of patient tests at a time. If it had worked as promised, the Edison would have revolutionized the health care industry by making it easier and cheaper to scan for early signs of health issues. But problems with the Edison device were concealed, and investors, who had contributed hundreds of millions of dollars, were misled about purported deals that Theranos had allegedly struck with major entities such as Pfizer and the U.S. military. Balwani’s sentencing “marks the end of the Theranos saga, which enthralled the public and prompted documentary films and novel treatments,” CNBC News noted. You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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