Ex-Theranos president Balwani sentenced to nearly 13 years for fraud

Dec 7 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday sentenced Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president of Theranos Inc, to 12 years and 11 months in prison for his involvement in the blood-testing startup’s investors led by Elizabeth Holmes spokeswoman. He was accused of cheating patients. The US Attorney’s Office confirmed.

US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, sentenced Balwani, who was convicted by a jury in July of two counts of conspiracy and 10 counts of fraud.

Prosecutors said Balwani, 57, conspired with Holmes, 38, to make Silicon Valley investors believe that the company had acquired tiny machines that could make medical diagnostic tests from a small amount of blood. can accurately run a wide range of

Meanwhile, the company relied on traditional methods to secretly run tests and provide false results to patients, prosecutors said.

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Holmes, who started the company as a college student and became its public face, was indicted in 2018 along with Balwani, her former romantic partner.

Davila later allowed each a separate trial after Holmes said she would take the stand and testify that Balwani was abusive in their relationship. He has denied the allegations.

Holmes was convicted in January on four counts of fraud and conspiracy but was acquitted of defrauding patients.

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Davila sentenced Holmes to 11-1/4 years in prison at a hearing last month, calling Theranos “blundered by untruths, misrepresentations, plain arrogance and lies.”

Prosecutors later argued that Balwani should have been jailed for 15 years, saying he knew Theranos’ tests were flawed by overseeing the company’s laboratory operations, and “prioritised Theranos’ financial health over the actual health of patients.” decided to give.

The probation office had recommended a nine-year sentence.

Balwani’s lawyers asked for a sentence of probation, arguing that he sought to make the world a better place through Theranos and was not motivated by fame or greed.

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Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos is changing how patients receive diagnoses by replacing traditional laboratories with tiny machines envisioned for use in homes, drug stores and even on the battlefield. promised to bring revolution.

The company collapsed in 2015 after a series of Wall Street Journal articles called into question its technology.

The case is US v. Balwani, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-cr-00258.

Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York; Editing by Nolene Walder and Bill Bercott

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jody Godoy

Thomson Reuters

Jody Godoy reports on banking and securities law. Contact him at [email protected]

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