Elizabeth Holmes “attempted to flee the country” after the verdict, prosecutors said

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CNN

Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico in January 2022, shortly after the Theranos founder was convicted of fraud, prosecutors charged in a new lawsuit Friday.

Holmes was found guilty last January of defrauding investors while running Theranos, a startup that failed to pass a blood test. In November, he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She has appealed her conviction and will not begin her prison term until this spring, a waiting period prosecutors described as “generous” and due to her pregnancy.

The allegation that he tried to leave the country last year comes amid a new request from prosecutors that Holmes must begin serving his prison sentence without living in an area with $13,000 a month in care costs.

In the filing, prosecutors say Holmes has not presented credible evidence that he is not a flight risk, as his lawyers have argued, and used the alleged 2022 incident to support their concerns that he posed such a risk.

“On January 23, 2022, the government learned that defendant Holmes had booked an international flight to Mexico for January 26, 2022, with no scheduled travel,” the court filing said. “The trip was canceled only after the government raised an unauthorized flight with a defense attorney.”

The application adds that prosecutors He said he expected Holmes to “answer that he didn’t leave the country as planned,” but said it was “hard to know for sure” what he would have done “unless the government intervened.” Now that he has been sentenced, prosecutors say the “prompt to flee was unprecedented” and that Holmes “had the opportunity to act on that provocation.”

Holmes’ attorney did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the filing on Friday.

The court filing includes an email from one of Holmes’ prosecution lawyers, which claims the travel booking was made before the sentencing. In an email, Holmes’ attorney said the former Theranos CEO hoped the sentence would be different and that he would be able to travel to attend a friend’s wedding in Mexico.

In an earlier court filing, Holmes’ attorneys argued that he was not a flight risk or a danger to the community and asked for his release pending an appeal.

Holmes was arrested on April 27, 2023, when his prison sentence will begin.

“There are not two justice systems – one for the rich and one for the poor – there is only one criminal justice system in this country,” prosecutors said in the filing. They believe that “it is time for Holmes to be held accountable for his crimes in this system.”

Theranos, once valued at $9 billion, attracted top investors and business partners by claiming to have developed technology to test for large-scale conditions using just a few drops of blood. The company reported in 2015 that after a Wall Street Journal investigation, Theranos performed only about a dozen of the hundreds of tests it proposed using its proprietary technology and with precision. doubtful.

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