Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced entrepreneur who was convicted of defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup Theranos, is expected to report to a Texas federal prison on Tuesday to begin her 11-year, three-month prison sentence.
Ms. Holmes is expected to report to FPC Bryan, a minimum-security prison camp for women located approximately 90 minutes from Houston. Its 655 inmates are required to work in the cafeteria or a manufacturing facility, where pay starts at $1.15 an hour, according to the prison handbook. Before starting work in the factory, Mrs. Holmes may take an exam to assess her strengths in areas such as business, clerical, numerical, logical, mechanical, and “social”. Guests may also enroll in a Lean Six Sigma training program to gain proficiency.
The prison handbook says, “We try to help our women get factory work that focuses on their strengths so that they develop additional marketable skills.”
Ms. Holmes, 39, was found guilty last year of four counts of fraud and conspiracy for falsely claiming that Theranos blood tests could detect a variety of diseases with just a few drops of blood. She and her former business partner, Ramesh Palwani, have to pay $452 million in compensation to the defrauded investors. Mrs. Holmes appealed her case, although her requests to remain out of prison were denied on appeal.
Ms. Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University at the age of 19. The company raised $950 million in funding, making it a billionaire on paper. Theranos collapsed in 2018. Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani were charged that year.
The pair was tried separately. Mr. Balwani was convicted of 12 counts of fraud and is serving a 13-year sentence in a federal prison in San Pedro, California. He has also appealed his case.
Ms. Holmes’ line was meant to send a message to others in Silicon Valley: There are consequences when ambitious startup founders take on an ethos known as “fake it ’til you make it” — when ambitious entrepreneurs talk about what their companies can do, even if the companies can’t. Things – very far. Despite the tech industry’s long history of baseline expansion, where entrepreneurs invent new businesses and disrupt old ones, few have gone to jail for lying.
Since her conviction, Mrs. Holmes has been living in a rented home in San Diego near the family of Billy Evans, the father of her two children. During her trial, which was held in San Jose, California, Ms. Holmes and Mr. Evans lived in a house on the grounds of Green Gables, a $135 million estate in the affluent town of Woodside.
Their two young children, William and Invicta, will be able to video call and visit Ms. Holmes on weekends and federal holidays. Phone calls are capped at 15 minutes each, for a total of 300 minutes per month.
At FPC Bryan, Ms. Holmes, known for wearing a black turtleneck to imitate Steve Jobs while running Theranos, and during her trial, stilettos, bodycon dresses and a diaper bag, will wear khaki pants and pastel green prison-issued shirts, gray or white with sneakers she must not Its value exceeds $100.
She won’t have any internet access but can purchase a radio ($31.75) or MP3 player ($88.40) from the collector. All music must be “non-explicit,” according to the prison handbook.
FPC Bryan offers entertainment including music programmes, “board games” and movies, according to its brochure. Arts and crafts are available, including beading, knitting, paper art, crochet, and ceramics. Crochet needle is $1.30 and yarn is $3.55 at FPC Bryan’s Commissioner, according to the booklet.
Inmates are permitted access to the outdoor “entertainment yard suite,” but must return to their residential quarters for a head count that occurs five times every 24 hours.
It is considered against the rules to forge or forge documents and perform an act. Ms. Holmes admitted to falsifying pharmaceutical reports to attract investors while testifying about her trial.
Other inmates at the prison camp include Jin Shah, the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star who is serving a five-and-a-half year sentence for telemarketing-related phone fraud. In a blog post in March about her first few days in prison, Ms. Shah described the difficulty of running a phone system that used account numbers, and noted that there weren’t a lot of nice people there. She wrote that breakfast was instant oatmeal, an apple and a slice of wheat bread with jam.
Leah Vasto, former CEO of collapsing energy company Enron, was jailed for tax fraud at FPC Bryan for 11 months in the mid-2000s. Gina Ryan, a participant in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, spent 60 days there. Hot Pocket co-founder Michelle Janaves has served five months for her connection to the “Operation Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.
Three FPC Bryan prisoners escaped in 2017. One of them, Edith Lara, who was serving a sentence for a drug charge, has never been found, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.