Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to report to prison in two weeks

By Jody Godoy

(Reuters) - Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will begin serving her prison sentence on May 30 for defrauding investors in the failed blood-testing startup once valued at $9 billion.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila set the date on Wednesday for Holmes, 39, to begin serving 11 years and three months in prison.

Holmes rose to fame after claiming Theranos' small machines could run an array of diagnostic tests with just a few drops of blood. She was convicted of fraud at trial in San Jose, California, last year.

She had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to pause her sentence on April 25, two days before she was originally to report to prison. The court denied that request on Tuesday.

Davila, who oversaw Holmes' trial and sentencing, had previously rejected her argument that the appeal is likely to result in a new trial, the threshold for her to remain free on bail.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Holmes misrepresented Theranos' technology and finances. Holmes testified in her own defense, saying she believed her statements were accurate at the time.

On appeal, Holmes is challenging several of the judge's rulings, including his allowance of evidence about Theranos' test accuracy that postdated her statements to investors.

Holmes' co-defendant, former Theranos President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, was convicted of defrauding Theranos investors and patients at a separate trial and sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison.

Balwani began serving his sentence on April 20, after Davila and the 9th Circuit rejected his requests to remain free on bail during his appeal.

Forbes dubbed Holmes the world's youngest female self-made billionaire in 2014, when she was 30 and her stake in Theranos was worth $4.5 billion. Theranos collapsed after a series of Wall Street Journal articles in 2015 questioned its technology.

(Reporting by Jody Godoy in California and Akanksha Khushi; Editing by Richard Chang and Bill Berkrot)