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Feds seek Theranos fraud victims for information ahead of Elizabeth Holmes, Sunny Balwani sentencings

Government gathering accounts for consideration by the court in upcoming hearings

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California is seeking information from victims of Theranos' fraud ahead of the sentencing of former company executives Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani this fall. Courtesy Getty Images.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California and law enforcement agencies are calling for information from victims of fraud perpetrated by former Theranos executives Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani.

Prosecutors are seeking the information for the upcoming sentencing phase in the cases against Holmes and Balwani, who were found guilty earlier this year of defrauding investors through Holmes' failed Palo Alto-based blood-testing startup, Theranos. They are scheduled to appear in federal court this fall, the office said in an Aug. 18 press release.

On Jan. 3, a jury found Holmes, the company's former CEO, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud against Theranos investors in a scheme that purported to accurately perform tests from a single drop of blood. The equipment apparently failed to produce the promised results and resulted in a wide-ranging fraud of millions of dollars of investors' money and false test results, according to prosecutors.

In a separate trial, on July 7 jurors found Balwani, Theranos' former president and chief operating officer, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors, conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos paying patients, six counts of wire fraud against Theranos investors and four counts of wire fraud against Theranos paying patients.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is distributing questionnaires and is requesting information and statements about the impact of the fraud. The questionnaires are available online at justice.gov.

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"All responses are voluntary, but complete submissions will be useful in identifying respondents as potential victims and supplying the Court with the information necessary for sentencing," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in the press release. The office has asked any victim who wants to provide a statement to send it via email as listed on the questionnaire. Law enforcement agencies may reach out to respondents and request more details.

Holmes and Balwani are currently free on bond pending sentencing. Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 17; Balwani is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for each count of conviction. The court, however, would consider U.S. sentencing guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Feds seek Theranos fraud victims for information ahead of Elizabeth Holmes, Sunny Balwani sentencings

Government gathering accounts for consideration by the court in upcoming hearings

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Aug 19, 2022, 4:01 pm

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California and law enforcement agencies are calling for information from victims of fraud perpetrated by former Theranos executives Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani.

Prosecutors are seeking the information for the upcoming sentencing phase in the cases against Holmes and Balwani, who were found guilty earlier this year of defrauding investors through Holmes' failed Palo Alto-based blood-testing startup, Theranos. They are scheduled to appear in federal court this fall, the office said in an Aug. 18 press release.

On Jan. 3, a jury found Holmes, the company's former CEO, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud against Theranos investors in a scheme that purported to accurately perform tests from a single drop of blood. The equipment apparently failed to produce the promised results and resulted in a wide-ranging fraud of millions of dollars of investors' money and false test results, according to prosecutors.

In a separate trial, on July 7 jurors found Balwani, Theranos' former president and chief operating officer, guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos investors, conspiracy to commit wire fraud against Theranos paying patients, six counts of wire fraud against Theranos investors and four counts of wire fraud against Theranos paying patients.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is distributing questionnaires and is requesting information and statements about the impact of the fraud. The questionnaires are available online at justice.gov.

"All responses are voluntary, but complete submissions will be useful in identifying respondents as potential victims and supplying the Court with the information necessary for sentencing," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in the press release. The office has asked any victim who wants to provide a statement to send it via email as listed on the questionnaire. Law enforcement agencies may reach out to respondents and request more details.

Holmes and Balwani are currently free on bond pending sentencing. Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 17; Balwani is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for each count of conviction. The court, however, would consider U.S. sentencing guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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