Elizabeth Holmes made an ‘attempt to flee the country’ by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico departing in January 2022, shortly after the Theranos founder was convicted of fraud, prosecutors have alleged in a new court case Friday.
Holmes was found guilty last January of defrauding investors while running failed blood-testing startup Theranos. In November, she was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She appealed her conviction.
The allegation that she tried to leave the country last year has surfaced as part of a new filing by prosecutors arguing that Holmes should start serving her prison sentence rather than live in an area that would have $13,000 in monthly maintenance expenses pending his appeal.
In the filing, prosecutors say Holmes has not shown convincing evidence that she is not a flight risk, as her lawyers have said, and used the alleged 2022 incident to support their concerns that which it could present such a risk.
“The government learned on January 23, 2022 that Defendant Holmes had booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, with no scheduled round trip,” the court filing reads. “It was only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with the defense attorney that the trip was cancelled.”
The filing adds that prosecutors anticipating that Holmes ‘will respond that she did not in fact leave the country as planned’ but said ‘it is difficult to know for certain’ what she would have done ‘if the government had not intervened’ . Now, following his sentencing, prosecutors say “the incitement to flee has never been higher” and Holmes “has the wherewithal to act on that incitement”.
A lawyer for Holmes did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the filing on Friday.
The court filing includes an email from one of Holmes’ attorneys for the prosecution, claiming the travel booking was made before the verdict. In the email, Holmes’ lawyer says the former Theranos CEO hoped the verdict would be different and that she could make the trip to attend a friend’s wedding in Mexico.
In an earlier court filing, lawyers for Holmes argued for her release pending appeal, saying she was not a flight risk or a threat to the community.
Holmes was ordered into custody on April 27, 2023.
“There are not two justice systems – one for the rich and one for the poor – there is only one criminal justice system in this country,” prosecutors said in the filing. They argue that “under this system the time has come” for Holmes to answer for his crimes.
Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos has attracted top investors and business partners by claiming it has developed technology to test a wide range of conditions using just a few drops of blood. The company began to crumble after a Wall Street Journal investigation in 2015 reported that Theranos had performed only about a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary technology, and with precision. questionable.