Elizabeth Holmes planned to flee U.S. after her wire fraud conviction, say prosecutors

January 20, 2023 • 4:30 pm

I have to pat myself on the back, because I think I’m the only person who predicted (on this site) that Elizabeth Holmes, pampered fraudster who will now spend at least nine years in jail, would try to flee the U.S. so she wouldn’t serve time.

And now that seems to have been her plan. The news was just reported that Holmes had a serious plan to flee the country to Mexico. This from CNN:

Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico in January 2022, shortly after the Theranos founder was convicted of fraud, prosecutors alleged in a new court filing Friday.

Holmes was convicted last January of defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing startup Theranos. In November, she was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She has appealed her conviction. [JAC: She’ll serve at least nine.]

The claim that she tried to leave the country last year surfaced as part of a new filing from prosecutors arguing that Holmes should begin serving her prison sentence rather than living on an estate reported to have $13,000 in monthly expenses for upkeep while she awaits her appeal.

In the filing, prosecutors argue Holmes has not shown convincing evidence that she is not a flight risk, as her lawyers have stated, and used the alleged 2022 incident to support their |concerns that she could pose such a risk.

“The government became aware on January 23, 2022, that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, without a scheduled return trip,” the court filing states. “Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled.”

The filing adds that prosecutorsanticipate Holmes will “reply that she did not in fact leave the country as scheduled” but said “it is difficult to know with certainty” what she would have done “had the government not intervened.” Now, in the wake of her sentencing, prosecutors say “the incentive to flee has never been higher” and Holmes “has the means to act on that incentive.”

Holmes is pregnant, and was supposed to report to prison on April 27. Somehow the government got wind of her attempt to flee and stopped it (I don’t know if they’d confiscated her passport.) But if ever there was a candidate for being a flight risk, it’s the entitled and delusional Holmes. In my view, she should be locked up immediately, pregnant or not. I don’t believe that she would ever want to serve nine years in prison if she could find any way out of it.

19 thoughts on “Elizabeth Holmes planned to flee U.S. after her wire fraud conviction, say prosecutors

      1. Ever the cheapskate. Reminiscent of how Arthur Sackler (of Purdue Pharma’s predecessor) famously always flew coach.

    1. Would she really have been allowed on the flight in that case? I have a feeling it wouldn’t have made a difference. The one-way trip but sure sounds better for the prosecution though.

  1. Does the baby have to serve 9 years too? I suppose it depends on behavior – good or bad.
    But really, what do they do about the baby?

  2. From this and other posts about Holmes, It’s interesting that you’re so eager (it seems to me) to see the “entitled and delusional,” “pampered fraudster” punished. As a determinist, you agree she couldn’t have been or done otherwise as things actually unfolded (laws of physics, etc.). So I’m guessing you’ll agree she doesn’t *deserve* punishment independent of any good consequences, as a retributivist would say, but that she should serve nine years in prison as a means toward moral reform, deterrence, etc. as the baby grows up sans mom. Absent desert, all this is an unfortunate practical necessity, assuming that the sentence actually serves those ends, and that a shorter, less punitive sentence would not. But you don’t seem to think this is unfortunate, but something to be relished. If I’ve got you wrong, please accept my apologies and set me straight.

    1. Why should I think it’s unfortunate when a person that screwed up is taken off the streets, given a chance to reform, and deter other white-collar criminals?

      Is it “unfortunate” when a mass killer is punished?

      This discussion ends here.

  3. I know of one reader here who has been to prison. (Won’t name, of course.) Other than that, no mention of jail/prison/penitentiary/correction center by any readers. Not that I’m complaining, and it’s not surprising.

    I’ll just say I have been processed once for a one-night stint. I didn’t take it seriously…at first. Once I turned myself in (a Friday night), I was subjugated to such chaos and seriousness, mayhem and strictness, I felt like I entered a movie set. Screaming in the background, always, different voices. People standing in lines. The animated ones cursing and stomping. Most, like me, silent with head bowed. Shit, I was out of my depth in 10 seconds.

    That’s just a fleeting horror, a bad memory now, but I can understand, if I had the recourses that I assume Holmes still has, and was hit with a crime as serious as hers, I’d be thinking the same thing (bad person, me?) No, just crazy-ass fight or flight and the fight is clearly gone. Like Jerry, I’m really surprised they didn’t revoke her passport, but they didn’t, soooo?

    I only stuck a toe into incarceration, and it is a staggering loss in there…hard to explain, really. I’m glad I went in retrospect, just to see what goes on in there, who some of the people are, what my feelings were (not good). I wondered about claustrophobia and felt it, but I figured that feeling would go away, eventually. Food inedible, but forced to eat it. People trading it surreptitiously. Before spending that 40-odd hours in a prison (not a jail) I thought acid was trippy. The judge would be happy to know that the experience was a true deterrence. Being locked up is unimaginably bad…at least for me, and I don’t think I’m an outlier.

    1. The reasons you state, Mark, are why some jurisdictions have (or at least had) what were called “shock parole” programs. Under these programs, first offenders sentenced to longer bids would be released after a much shorter stay (say, a few weeks, or a month or two).

      The theory was that the maximum deterrent effect for such offenders occurs early on in their incarceration — and that, if they served their full bid, they would become acclimated to their prison conditions and, thus, have less of a disincentive to recidivism.

    2. I spent around 10 days in jail for a DUI/possession of pot charge years ago. It was unbelievably depressing and soul crushing. TV blaring stupid TV shows all day at top volume. Roommate was giving tat’s to people in my room and was so crazy I half expected him to stab me in the middle of the night. Guards were basically waking people up all night for one reason or another. I was on breakfast “duty” and had to make breakfast for the prison nearby, and they got us up at like 2 AM. I basically didn’t sleep for 10 days. Only pooped once the whole time cause there was no fiber in the food.

      Been told prison is actually a little bit better, but anyone in their right mind would try and flee.

    3. Interesting. Without wishing to go into the free will aspects of the debate, I take the view that retribution is not a desirable or valid aim of the administration of justice and that custodial sentences should therefore fulfil one or more of three objectives: (i) containment of offenders who remain dangerous to society (ii) deterrence and (iii) rehabilitation where possible. While prisoners are incarcerated they have limited (but not zero) potential to engage in crime beyond the prison walls so the first objective is met to a fair extent but the the high levels of recidivism witnessed in some countries would suggest a poor level of attainment of objectives (ii) and (iii). It seems that prisons may often be ‘universities of crime’ in which inmates become much more hardened criminals than when they entered. This suggests that prison reform is necessary to make them less like the chaotic hell-hole you describe and also that non-custodial sentences should often be considered in preference to incarceration.

  4. Several news sources report that the government has her passport (presumably surrendered when she was convicted). You need a passport to enter Mexico legally.

    1. It’s a standard condition of bond in federal cases for defendants to be required to surrender their passports and travel documents upon their initial release, pending trial or plea. A court wouldn’t order the return of a defendant’s passport (absent some emergency circumstance, and then only temporarily) after conviction, since a convicted defendant is an even greater flight risk.

  5. I should put my reading glasses on. I keep reading about prosecutor’s “flings” which makes their job seem a lot more fun, and them a lot more likable, than is probably the case.

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