Elizabeth Holmes is asking a judge to reverse her 'unjust' conviction or reduce her 11-year sentence one week before she's set to report to prison

Elizabeth Holmes is asking a judge to reverse her 'unjust' conviction or reduce her 11-year sentence one week before she's set to report to prison
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes appeared in court Friday for a restitution hearing.Philip Pacheco/Getty Images
  • Elizabeth Holmes is asking a judge to grant her a new trial or reduce her prison sentence.
  • Holmes' attorneys say she was unfairly barred from citing "compelling evidence" of her innocence.

Elizabeth Holmes truly believed in her company's blood-test technology and was unjustly barred from submitting "compelling evidence" that would have bolstered her defense, attorneys for the former CEO of Theranos wrote in a court filing on Monday, saying that she deserves either a new trial or a reduced sentence.

In 2018, Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, her ex-boyfriend and Theranos' former president, were charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and accused of defrauding investors who backed the company and what it said would be a revolutionary new way of quickly and accurately testing blood samples.

Holmes was convicted on four counts and sentenced last November to 11.25 years in prison, with three years of state supervision following her release.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Holmes, 39, is due to begin her sentence on April 27 after a judge last week denied her request to remain free while she appeals her conviction. At the time her punishment was handed down, Holmes told the court, through tears, that she was "devastated by my failings" and "felt deep pain for what people went through because I failed them."

But in the brief filed Monday with the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Holmes's attorneys say her original trial was flawed, producing an "unjust" conviction and a "severe" prison sentence. They say that she was unjustly barred from citing Balwani's testimony in her own defense.


"Balwani's testimony is compelling evidence corroborating Holmes's defense that she did not intend to defraud investors with the financial projections or conspire with Balwani to do so," the attorneys wrote. Balwani was convicted on 12 counts, and sentenced last December to 13 years in prison.

Holmes's defense team also said that testimony from Theranos' former lab director, Dr. Adam Rosendorff — that the company's technology was "uniquely problematic" — improperly influenced the court, citing the fact that Rosendorff was not cross-examined and questioned about failings in other labs at which he worked.

For those reasons, the court "should reverse the conviction and remand for a new trial or, alternatively, remand for resentencing," Holmes's lawyers wrote.

Holmes has made several attempts to throw out her conviction, or to delay or reduce her sentence, in the past year. In May, her attorneys asked the judge to overturn her conviction, saying there was "insufficient evidence" for any "rational juror." In November, after the judge denied three requests she made for a new trial days before she was due to be sentenced, she asked for 18 months under house arrest instead of prison time, with her attorneys saying she had been "mocked and vilified" enough.

Read Elizabeth Holmes's appeal in full: