Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes tried to ‘flee’ US after conviction, prosecutors claim

Elizabeth Holmes tried to flee to Mexico after the disgraced Theranos founder was convicted of fraud, according to federal prosecutors.

Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico last January, prosecutors state in a new court filing.

The former Silicon Valley star was convicted in January 2022 of defrauding investors while running her blood-testing startup. She was sentenced in November to 11 years in prison and has appealed her conviction.

The fleeing claim was made as prosecutors argued that she should begin her prison sentence immediately rather than wait to surrender herself into custody by April 27.

Prosecutors used the Mexico incident as an example of why they are not convinced Holmes is not a flight risk.

Court papers state that Holmes bought a flight to Mexico that was set to leave the US on 26 January 2022, with no scheduled return trip.

The US government became aware of the booking on 23 January 2022, the motion reads.

“Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled,” the filing states.

“The government anticipates (Holmes) will note in reply that she did not in fact leave the country as scheduled—but it is difficult to know with certainty what (Holmes) would have done had the government not intervened,” prosecutors said.

The filing includes an email from her lawyers stating that Holmes made the booking before the trial verdict and that she planned on attending a wedding of friends in Mexico.

“There are not two systems of justice – one for the wealthy and one for the poor – there is one criminal justice system in this country,” prosecutors stated in the filing.

And they added that “under that system, the time has come” for Holmes to serve her sentence.

Theranos was once valued at $9bn with Holmes falsely claiming the company had developed technology to test a drop of blood for hundreds of conditions.