Elizabeth Holmes booked one-way flight to Mexico following fraud conviction, US prosecutors say

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Saturday, January 21, 2023 3:53AM
Prosecutors: Holmes booked one-way trip to Mexico following conviction
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Just weeks after being convicted in January 2022, federal prosecutors say that Holmes booked a flight to Mexico without a scheduled return trip.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes booked a one-way flight to Mexico following her conviction in January 2022, according to a new filing by the U.S. government, ABC News reports.

The filing by federal prosecutors opposes Holmes' motion for release pending appeal.

In November 2022, Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison after being convicted in January on four counts of defrauding investors.

RELATED: Why ethics, legal experts say Elizabeth Holmes sentencing sends clear message to Silicon Valley

Prosecutors point out that "the government became aware on January 23, 2022" that Holmes had booked a flight to Mexico to depart on January 26, 2022 without a scheduled return trip.

It was only after the government notified the defense about the unauthorized flight that the trip was canceled.

Holmes's partner Billy Evans had flown out on the Jan 26, 2022 and didn't return for 6 weeks.

"The government anticipates Defendant will note in reply that she did not in fact leave the country as scheduled - but it is difficult to know with certainty what Defendant would have done had the government not intervened," the filing says.

RELATED: Life after Theranos: What 130 personal letters to sentencing judge reveal about Elizabeth Holmes

The government adds that Holmes failed to meet the burden of proving she was not a flight risk.

The government emailed Holmes' legal team upon becoming aware of the potential trip to which they replied on the same day that "The hope was that the verdict would be different and Ms. Holmes would be able to make this trip to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico."

The email, obtained by ABC News, continues that "Given the verdict, she does not plan to take the trip - and therefore did not provide notice, seek permission, or request access to her passport (which the government has) for the trip. But she also had not yet cancelled the trip, amidst everything that has been going on. We will have her do so promptly and will provide you confirmation..."

The government adds that "another judge in this District analyzed several factors that are also present here and found the defendant failed to meet his burden of proving he was not a flight risk."

In the motion, the U.S. government also states that "There are not two systems of justice-one for the wealthy and one for the poor-there is one criminal justice system in this country. And under that system, the time has come for Elizabeth Holmes to answer for her crimes committed nearly a decade ago, as found by a jury made up of a fair cross-section of individuals from this community, and to begin serving the term of imprisonment imposed by this Court as sufficient but not greater than necessary to account for those crimes."

Holmes, who is pregnant, was ordered to surrender to custody on April 27, 2023.