Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes, Convicted, Seeks Leniency: ‘2nd Child On Way’

Fallen US biotech star Elizabeth Holmes faces sentencing on Friday after being found guilty of defrauding investors and endangering patients in a case that became an indictment of Silicon Valley.

Holmes was convicted on four counts in January for persuading investors over 15 years that she had developed a revolutionary medical device before the company flamed out after an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.

US federal prosecutors are seeking a 15-year jail term for Holmes and want her to pay $800 million in restitution to investors that included the Walton family of Walmart, the Walgreens chain of pharmacies and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The Theranos founder was “blinded by… ambition,” said US attorney Stephanie Hinds in a court filing arguing for the sentence.

Holmes became a star of Silicon Valley when she said her now defunct start-up was perfecting an easy-to-use test kit that could carry out a wide range of medical diagnostics with just a few drops of blood.

At the time, Holmes often dressed soberly in black turtlenecks that evoked her hero, the late Apple icon Steve Jobs.

She sold investors on the idea that her invention would disrupt medical practice, replacing expensive lab tests with her cheap kits.

Her claims helped Theranos raise nearly one billion dollars without ever achieving meaningful revenue.

Holmes’s meteoric rise and fast demise has been the subject of books, movies and a TV series that framed her story as a cautionary tale on the excesses