Did Theranos collapse because of Holmes’ criminal conduct? Holmes says no–and no to investors’ claims

Restitution–and Holmes’ ability to pay–may be similar to squeezing blood out of the rock at left. In the latest filing from Elizabeth Holmes’ defense, they claim that 1) her crimes didn’t cause the collapse of Theranos and 2) that the prosecution had not shown that the investors “relied on the offense conduct when deciding to invest.” Even Judge Edward Davila of the US District Court had said in a January ruling that 1) was not established by the prosecution.

What the prosecution is trying to establish is that Holmes’ restitution should be in the vicinity of $878 million, up from an earlier estimate of $804 million. This contrasts with the $381 million that Judge Davila used for sentencing purposes, but under Federal law the guidelines for the latter differ. The prosecution is calculating the full loss of the investors “directly harmed” by Holmes’ criminal conduct, which is why (2) is important to the defense.

The next date to watch for is 17 March, where Judge Davila will rule on the restitution. He will evaluate submissions by those defrauded of their investment, with an order then specifying how much goes to which investors in proportion to their loss, covered by whatever she owns and from future earnings. The number on what’s owed may be academic. The defense has already stated that Holmes is, to put it bluntly, broke. In a court filing last month, Holmes said she “has essentially no assets of meaningful value” though she continues to work on patents. 

Holmes and her defense continue to fight to prevent her surrender and remain free until her appeals are exhausted. The second date of note is 27 April–her surrender date to the Federal prison in Bryan, Texas. Sunny Balwani’s surrender date is a month earlier on 15 March to the Federal prison in Lompoc, California. Like Holmes, his defense has filed motions for his freedom through his appeals. Balwani also has prosecutors pressing for restitution around $900 million and likely he has not much left in the way of assets either. [TTA 22 FebHavasu News (from paywalled Mercury News)

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