Elizabeth Holmes’ Ex and Former Theranos President Sunny Balwani Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in federal prison after being found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud through Theranos.

By Kelly Gilmore Dec 08, 2022 2:41 AMTags
Watch: Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced to 11.25 Years in Prison

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani has been handed his fate.

The 57-year-old—who served in multiple executive positions at Theranos, the health technology company founded by Elizabeth Holmes—was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in federal prison on Dec. 7, per a statement from United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds obtained by E! News.

In addition to his nearly 13-year sentence, Balwani—who was found guilty by a federal jury of defrauding investors, patients and doctors through Theranos earlier this year—was also given three years of supervision following his eventual release from prison, which he has been ordered to surrender and begin serving on March 15, 2023.

The amount of restitution Balwani will have to pay is still a pending decision. A hearing is set to be scheduled in the future.

Following the judgement, Hinds noted in a statement that Balwani's sentence "should serve as a lesson to anyone considering fraud in their own push for success."

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"Patient health is the highest priority of our healthcare system, and Silicon Valley has long been home to healthcare start-ups that enhance the care of patients through technological developments," Hinds said. "Ramesh Balwani, in a desire to become a Silicon Valley titan, valued business success and personal wealth far more than patient safety.  He chose deceit over candor with patients in need of medical care, and he treated his investors no better."

In response to the sentencing, Balwani's attorney Jeffrey Coopersmith said in a Dec. 7 statement to E! News, "We are disappointed with the outcome. We respectfully disagree and plan to appeal."

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Theranos was a blood testing company that purported to have created blood analyzers with the ability to run any blood test using a small sample collected by a finger prick, with results delivered at a speed faster than other methods. According to Hinds, trial evidence showed that the analyzer was not able to perform all tests and was slower than other blood testing technology on the market. Both Holmes, 38, and Balwani—who also dated while working together at Theranos—were accused of using false claims to lure patients and investors to their product.

In July, Balwani was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Holmes was tried separately from Balwani and was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit fraud on investors and three counts of committing fraud on investors in January. In November, Holmes was sentenced to 11.25 years in prison and three years of supervised release. She is ordered to surrender on April 27, 2023.

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