Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images
Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” by buying a one-way ticket to Mexico after being found guilty of four counts of fraud in January.
In a new filing on Thursday, prosecutors said that “contrary to the defendant’s claims that she has a ‘blemish record with U.S. Pretrial Services’ and say no evidence suggests that she will flee while she pursues her appeal … the motivation to flee has never been higher and the defendant has the means to act on that incentive.”
“First, the defendant’s history in the Preparatory Service and in court does not include her attempt to flee the country soon after her conviction. The government learned on January 23, 2022 that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022 with no return trip scheduled.
After the government learned of Holmes’ planned trip, prosecutors sent e-mails to Holmes’ lawyers. In an email sent by Holmes’ legal team to the government, which was reviewed by ABC News, Holmes’ attorneys said: “In Mexico.”
“Given the verdict, she has no plans to travel – and therefore has not notified, asked for permission or requested access to her passport (which is held by the government) to travel.
“But she hasn’t canceled the trip either, amid all that’s going on. We will force her to do so immediately and provide you with confirmation.
Prosecutors in the file said it was “difficult to know with certainty what the defendant would have done had it not been for government intervention.”
They also revealed that Holmes’s partner, William Evans, left on time with a one-way ticket. Evans did not return until about six weeks later “from another continent”. Evans’s activities during the trip were not disclosed by the prosecution.
In November, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for her role at Theranos, a blood testing company she founded that was once valued at over $9 billion and was later discovered to be mostly fraudulent. Holmes was convicted of four counts of electronic fraud and conspiracy to commit electronic fraud.
In a pre-sentencing statement, federal judge Edward Davila condemned Holmes and Theranos, calling the entire debacle “a case of fraud in which an exciting enterprise went ahead with great expectations and hopes but was thwarted by misrepresentation, hubris and outright lies.”
At Holmes’ sentencing on April 27, she was ordered to surrender herself to prison.
The new filing is part of prosecutors’ argument that Holmes, who is now pregnant with her second child, should start serving a prison term instead of living in a California mansion costing more than $13,000 a month, prosecutors said.