Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, the disgraced blood-testing start-up, told a judge Monday that US government allegations that she tried to flee after she was convicted of fraud were “baseless.” ” and “inaccurate”.
Holmes was convicted of four counts of fraud in January 2022 and sentenced last fall to more than 11 years in prison.
Last week, in a filing related to deliberations over whether Holmes was a flight risk, the government said that after his conviction, Holmes still had in his possession a one-way ticket to Mexico that officials only learned about three days earlier. of your departure date. .
Prosecutors characterized the itinerary as “an attempt to flee the country shortly after she was convicted.”
But an attached document from one of Holmes’ lawyers explained that the ticket had been purchased before his conviction.
Monday’s filing accused the government of presenting what it characterized as a false accusation.
“The government’s new claim that Ms. Holmes attempted to flee is unsubstantiated,” Holmes’s lawyers write. “If the government thought she had done it, the Court, Pre-Trial Services and the Probation Office would have heard that she was a flight risk for the three years before trial and the year since Ms Holmes’s conviction. “.
They add that Holmes had already turned in his passport, which “has been expired for years.” Holmes has also been in frequent contact with various pretrial services officers, they write. “She has an impeccable record of pretrial services,” they said.
In explanation of the scheduled trip, the lawyers write that Holmes “hoped to be cleared” at which point she would be able to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico in late January 2022. Her partner, William Evans, booked flights. for him and Holmes in December 2021, before the verdict.
“Once the verdict was delivered, Ms. Holmes had no intention of making the trip,” they write, and that regardless, there was no way she could have gone, given the conditions of her release.
Furthermore, they note, “when the government inquired, the defense attorney responded quickly and explained the situation, and Mr. Evans canceled the fine.”
“‘I don’t think it’s necessary for us to discuss this further, but I will certainly be in touch if that changes, and please feel free to reach out if you disagree,'” lead prosecutor Jeffrey Schenk wrote to Holmes’ attorney Lance Wade. on January 23, 2022, Holmes’s lawyers said.
Finally, Holmes’s lawyers accuse government prosecutors of misrepresenting Evans’ itinerary, stating that he returned from Mexico via Tijuana four days after leaving for Mexico; the government had originally charged him with going to Mexico and returning six weeks later from another continent.
“Ms. Holmes’s attorney brought these inaccuracies to the government’s attention via email on January 20, 2023 and requested that the government correct them,” they write. “As of this filing, the government has not responded or corrected any inaccuracies.”
The lawyers add that the allegations “have been widely reported in the press and have already produced negative effects for Ms. Holmes and her partner beyond this case,” without elaborating.
Prosecutors did not respond to a request for comment. Holmes was ordered to turn himself in to authorities in April to begin serving his sentence.