Ramesh Balwani, a former Theranos COO, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his role in the blood testing startup’s fraud. Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, was in a relationship with Balwani when she was sentenced to 11 years in prison in a separate trial. Holmes testified that her ex-boyfriend Balwani mistreated her and forced her to lie to investors.
Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the Indian-origin former chief operating officer of a failed blood-testing start-up, was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for fraud in which prosecutors claimed he jeopardized patient health and defrauded the company’s investors out of millions of dollars in his quest to become a “Silicon Valley titan.”
A jury found Balwani, 57, guilty on all 12 felony counts of defrauding Theranos investors and patients who used the company’s untrustworthy blood tests in July.
In her testimony, Holmes claimed that Balwani abused and manipulated her, using coercion to convince her to lie to investors about their startup.
A U.S. judge sentenced former Theranos President Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani to 12 years and 11 months in prison on charges of defrauding investors and patients of the blood testing startup led by Elizabeth Holmes https://t.co/vbQTmiD65P pic.twitter.com/SuePyKGHg4
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 8, 2022
Balwani was a controlling force at Theranos, her firm that she claimed was perfecting a device that could perform a variety of tests with just a few drops of blood. The claims, however, were false, and the technology was never operational.
Balwani, 57, of Fremont, was sentenced on Wednesday to 12 years and 11 months in federal prison for fraud that endangered patient health by misrepresenting the reliability of Theranos’ blood analysis technology and defrauded the company’s investors of millions of dollars, according to US Attorney Stephanie Hinds.
Who is Ramesh Balwani?
Balwani worked for the Palo Alto-based blood testing company founded in 2003 by his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes, who was once hailed as Silicon Valley’s rising star, from September 2009 to July 2016.
Last month, District Judge Davila sentenced Holmes to 11 years and 3 months in federal prison, and she was also ordered to turn herself in so that she could begin serving her sentence on April 27, 2023. Balwani was 18 years old when he first met Holmes.