On Thursday, a federal judge tentatively declined to overturn disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ jury conviction on four felony counts of fraud and conspiracy. This brings the former Silicon Valley star one step closer to prison.
That judgement will not be finalised until Oct. 17, when U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentences Holmes in the same San Jose, California, courtroom where a jury found her guilty of defrauding investors in her much-hyped blood-testing firm.
Holmes, 38, faces up to 20 years in jail and a $250,000 punishment, plus restitution, for lying to investors about a Theranos technology she billed as a healthcare breakthrough but which in practise generated dangerously inaccurate results.
One of Holmes’ lawyers, Amy Saharia, attempted to persuade Davila that the jury of eight men and four women had acted strangely throughout their seven-day deliberation. The court found that the jurors made fair inferences from the facts presented at trial, but he stated that he would still study some of the cases submitted by Saharia before making a final decision.
The 90-minute hearing on Thursday was Holmes’ first appearance in court since her January 3 conviction. The judgement brought to a conclusion a nearly four-month trial that detailed Holmes’ amazing journey from a Stanford University dropout in 2003 to a lionised entrepreneur worth $4.5 billion until it all crumbled in 2015.