According to his attorney, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani has reported to prison. Balwani was the ex-boyfriend of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and served as the former chief operational officer of the bankrupt firm.
In an email sent to CNN on Thursday, Balwani’s attorney Jeffrey Coopersmith said that his client had “peacefully and without incident” turned himself in to authorities. We will continue fighting for him because we are not convinced that he received a fair trial. “We will continuing to fight for him because…”
The entrance of Balwani into custody marked the end of a years-long narrative that saw him go from serving as a senior executive at a high-flying Silicon Valley company to ending up as one of the rare tech executives convicted for fraud. The saga saw him move from serving as a top executive at a strong-flying Silicon Valley company to getting one of the rare tech directors convicted for fraud.
Indicted for the first time with Holmes almost exactly five years ago, Balwani was found guilty on all 12 charges he faced in July of last year, including ten counts of federal money laundering and two counts of conspiracy for felony wire fraud. In December of last year, he was given a prison sentence of close to 13 years. In the past, Balwani’s desire to stay free while he fights his sentence was denied. Now, however, that request has been granted.
In addition to this, Holmes was found guilty on many charges of scamming investors, and she was given the order to turn herself in on April 27.
Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, exits the federal courthouse in San Jose, California, on the 17th day of March, 2023.
The judge has ruled that Elizabeth Holmes must go to prison this month as she waits for the outcome of her appeal.
The company, which was once valued at $9 billion, attracted prominent investors and retail partners by claiming it had created technology that could screen for a wide range of illnesses using only a few drops of blood. However, the company’s promises turned out to be false.
After an investigation by the Wall Street Journal in 2015 showed that Theranos had only ever completed only a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered utilising its patented technology, and with uncertain accuracy, the company began to fall apart shortly after the piece was published.
Balwani, who is over 20 years older than Holmes, first came into contact with her in 2002, just before she left Stanford University. In the company’s early days, he was Holmes’ unofficial advisor, and the two later became romantically connected. Theranos was founded in 2003. According to documents submitted to the court, in 2009 Balwani guaranteed a “multimillion-dollar loan” to the nascent company and also assumed the formal roles of president and chief operating officer.
Although Holmes and Balwani were indicted at the same time, their trials were split up when Holmes made it clear that she intended to accuse Balwani of physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusing her during the course of their decade-long interaction, which coincided with her time spent leading the company. (The legal representation for Balwani has refuted her assertions.)
During the course of her trial, Holmes asserted that Balwani attempted to exert control over practically every facet of her life, including her eating habits, her voice, and her appearance, in addition to isolating her from other people.
In her testimony, Holmes stated that despite the fact that he did not manage her interactions with financiers, business partners, and others, “he impacted anything about who I was, and I don’t fully understand that.”