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Elizabeth Holmes Asks To Be Freed Pending Appeal, Citing Upcoming Birth Of Her Second Child

Elizabeth Holmes’ “soon-to-be-born child” will “incentivize her to comply with her conditions of release,” the disgraced Theranos founder’s lawyers wrote in a newly filed motion.

By Dorian Geiger
The Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes Case, Explained

Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has asked a federal judge to consider keeping her out of prison while she appeals her conviction on a series of fraud charges.

Holmes, 38, who cited her pregnancy and her family, insisted she’s not a flight risk in a new motion filed on Monday for her release pending appeal. Holmes was sentenced to 11 years in prison last month  following her conviction in January.

She’s expected to surrender herself in April to begin serving her sentence.

Holmes’ defense lawyers argued the ex-Theranos founder was not a flight risk, that their appeal wasn’t a delay tactic, and that the appeal will “raise several substantial questions of law or fact,'' according to the motion, which Oxygen.com obtained. 

Holmes’ attorneys were adamant the statutory requirements for release have been met in the 21-page document.

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“This case has a lengthy, complex record for which there are numerous substantial issues to be addressed on appeal which, if decided in her favor, would require a new trial,” counsel Amy Mason Saharia wrote. “Ms. Holmes has remained in constant contact with counsel throughout this case. Release will facilitate Ms. Holmes’ continued communication with her counsel concerning these issues and the merits of her appeal. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes’ motion for release pending appeal.” 

Her lawyers also noted she’s already surrendered her passport and can't travel internationally.

“Ms. Holmes did not flee during the pendency of her case; did not flee in the immediate aftermath of her conviction or sentencing; and no evidence suggests she will flee while she pursues her appeal,” her lawyers added. “She has strong ties to her partner and family, including her son and soon-to-be-born child, that incentivize her to comply with her conditions of release.”

At her sentencing trial in October, a prosecution witness revealed in his court testimony that Holmes is pregnant with her second child.

Elizabeth Holmes leaves federal court with partner Billy Evans

Following Holmes’ sentencing hearing in November, her parents put up a $500,000 bond, effectively securing her release ahead the start of her prison term. She’d previously asked for a new trial after saying that a key prosecution witness attempted to get in touch with her following her conviction. Her request was denied.

Prosecutors had initially asked the judge to impose a 15-year prison term and award $803 million in restitution to Holmes’ victims. The restitution amount Holmes owes is to be determined at a separate future court hearing.

“[Elizabeth Holmes] repeatedly chose lies, hype, and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum prior to her sentencing.

Holmes, who defrauded investors out of millions of dollars, falsely claimed to have invented a new and revolutionary manner of blood testing, which produced real-time results — without the pesky delays of lab work, and which used only a few drops of blood. The method had virtually limitless applications — and Holmes herself vowed Theranos would usher in a blood-testing revolution, giving patients vastly increased control over their own health care.

Holmes was ultimately convicted on three counts of felony wire fraud and one count of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud after jurors deliberated for roughly 50 hours.

Her ex and former business partner, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani — who operated Theranos with Holmes — was convicted in the case in July. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Wednesday.

"I am devastated by my failings,” Holmes said in a court apology at her sentencing hearing, NBC News reported. “Every day for the past years I have felt deep pain for what people went through because I failed them. To investors, patients, I am sorry."

Oxygen.com has reached out to Holmes’ lawyers for comment.