Judge asked to delay Theranos founder sentencing to September

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Rival sides seek to delay the sentencing of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes until September 12 (AFP/David Odisho)
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Attorneys on Tuesday asked a judge to delay the sentencing of fallen biotech star Elizabeth Holmes, who was found guilty of defrauding investors in her blood-testing startup Theranos.

Holmes is a rare example of a tech exec being brought to book over a company flaming out, in a sector littered with the carcasses of money-losing businesses that once promised untold riches.

Her case shone a spotlight on the blurred line between the hustle that characterizes the industry and outright criminal dishonesty.

Jurors found her guilty of four counts of tricking investors into pouring money into what she claimed was a revolutionary testing system.

Prosecutors and Holmes' defense team have asked that she remain free on a $500,000 bond, secured by property, pending a sentencing hearing on September 12, according to the motion.

The rival sides agreed that a sentencing hearing after the first week of September "would be appropriate in light of ongoing proceedings in a related matter," the filing read.

Theranos chief operating officer Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was charged with fraud along with Holmes, but the one-time business and romantic partners face separate proceedings in federal court in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.

Balwani's trial has been delayed until March because of concerns about the risk of Covid-19, according to court documents.

Holmes' trial ended last week with a jury finding her guilty of four counts of fraud.

The 37-year-old now faces the possibility of 20 years behind bars for each conviction.

But the panel also acquitted her on four charges and could not reach a verdict on three others.

Prosecutors will dismiss the undecided charges, according to the motion to delay sentencing.

Holmes had vowed to revolutionize health diagnostics with self-service machines that could run an array of tests on just a few drops of blood, a vision that drew high-profile backers and made her a billionaire on paper by the age of 30.

She was hailed as the next tech visionary on magazine covers and collected mountains of investors' cash, but it all collapsed after Wall Street Journal reporting revealed the machines did not work as promised.

gc/ssy/oho

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