Elizabeth Holmes’ trial has been delayed for months, and now her sentence will also be suspended. The trial judge has scheduled the hearing for the end of September.
US District Judge Edward Davila’s order, issued yesterday, set the sentence for September 26. He also rescinded June 16 to deal with motions that Holmes’ attorneys may file in which they may seek to have the conviction quashed or a new trial.
Holmes was found guilty earlier this month of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The jury was hung on three counts, which prosecutors decided to dismiss in a joint filing with Holmes’ attorneys. The former Theranos CEO was acquitted of the remaining charges of wire fraud against patients.
Although she is likely to be sentenced to prison for defrauding investors, she will be able to spend the next eight and a half months on bail. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the four counts on which she was convicted, although she is unlikely to receive the full 80 years.
Holmes has been out on bail since June 2018, when she and alleged co-conspirator Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were charged. Both were released after posting $500,000 bonds and surrendering their passports. Now that Holmes has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing, her bail will have to be secured with property. Their trials have been repeatedly pushed back, first because of the COVID pandemic, then later because Holmes gave birth.
Part of the reason Holmes’ sentencing was postponed is that the government has yet to pursue its case against Balwani. Initially, Holmes and Balwani were to be tried together, but the judge ordered separate trials after Holmes’ lawyers revealed that, in her defense, she would accuse Balwani of abusing her. “Such testimony would be unfairly prejudicial to the co-defendant, Mr. Balwani, such that he will be denied a fair trial unless his trial is severed from the trial of Ms. Holmes,” Davila wrote. Balwani denied the abuse allegations.
Holmes’ attorneys pursued this tactic aggressively, and although jurors believed she had been abused, they did not feel it influenced her decision to commit fraud.
Balwani’s trial, originally scheduled to begin next month, has been pushed back to mid-March due to the current wave of COVID cases across the country. The keynote speeches will begin on March 15.
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