Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in prison for fraud after deceiving investors about the blood-testing technology developed by her company.
Once valued at $9 billion by private investors and placed as a top innovator in both, silicon-valley and the health industry, Theranos shut down in 2018.
Holmes launched Theranos after dropping out of Stanford University at age 19. She was even hailed as the “next Steve Jobs” and became one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires at the time.
“I loved Theranos. It was my life’s work,” Holmes said while crying after being sentenced. “I have felt deep pain for what people went through because I failed them. To investors, patients, I am sorry.”
The Wall Street Journal first broke the story of how Theranos’ technology was struggling to meet expectations in 2015. Further reports provided detailed accounts on how Holmes and former operating chief Ramesh Balwani deceived patients, partners, investors and employees about the purported efficacy of their blood-testing technology.
In July, Balwani was found guilty of 12 criminal fraud charges. His sentencing is set for next month.
As prosecutors sought a 15-year sentence, Holmes’ defense team argued she should face a maximum sentence of 18 months. She was given 135 months, which amounts to 11 years and three months.
The Theranos founder gave birth in July to her first child and is expecting another.