Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the company’s blood test fraud, a slightly longer sentence than the one handed down to the chief executive, who was her lover and accomplice in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest scandals.
Balwani, 57, was found guilty in July of fraud and conspiracy related to the company’s failed medical technology, which misled investors and endangered patients.
The sentencing comes less than three weeks after Elizabeth Holmes, 38, the company’s founder and CEO, received more than 11 years in prison for her part in the plot, which has been analyzed in a book, a documentary on HBO and an award-winning television series.
Balwani’s sentence is shorter than the 15 years requested by federal prosecutors, who describe him as a ruthless and power-hungry figure. But it is much longer than the four to ten months recommended by his lawyers.
The scandal centered on the company’s false claims that it had developed a device that could detect hundreds of diseases and other possible conditions with just a few drops of blood drawn from a finger prick.
After years of promoting the technology, Holmes and Balwani were warned that the blood tests were inaccurate, but they continued to raise money from investors, including billionaires such as software mogul Larry Ellison and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and implemented the technology. technology in some Walgreens stores.
In total, Theranos raised nearly $1 billion before its collapse in 2018, relying in part on financial statements that predicted revenue was about to soar.
Judge Edward Davila said those numbers produced by Balwani “were not just projections, they were lies” and “a true flight from honest business practices.”
Source: El Nuevo Herald