A Few Years Ago Elizabeth Holmes Was A Multi-Billionaire. Today She Can’t Afford $250-A-Month Theranos Restitution Payment

Elizabeth Holmes, whose saga involving her fraudulent blood-testing company Theranos has been amply documented, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for fraud. As part of her sentence she was ordered to pay $452 million in restitution to bilked investors in her company. That included a payment schedule of at least $25 a month during the duration of her prison time, with a Justice Department-added stipulation that the payment be raised to $250 a month once she gets out. This week Holmes claimed in court that she can’t afford the payments. A shocking circumstance for someone who was once worth $4.5 billion.

Holmes and ex-boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani are both serving prison sentences for their Theranos fraud, but while Balwani’s sentence included a stipulation that he pay at least $1,000 per month towards his restitution obligation once he’s out of prison, Holmes’s sentence had no such provision. The Justice Department says that was a “clerical error.”

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Attorneys for Holmes say the added stipulation isn’t fair and goes beyond Holmes’s “limited financial resources.” Their filing goes on:

“Mr. Balwani’s amended judgment says nothing about what the Court intended for Ms. Holmes’ restitution schedule. Ms. Holmes and Mr. Balwani have different financial resources and the Court has appropriately treated them differently.”

For example, the filing says, Balwani was slapped with a $25,000 fine for his role in the Theranos debacle, while no such fine was imposed on Holmes.

At the peak of Theranos’s financial success, Holmes was worth some $4.5 billion. Today her court filings claim the company’s collapse has completely wiped her out, and with no financial assets left and no hope of repairing her image in the business world, $250 a month will be too much for her to afford by the time she gets out of prison.

The Justice Department filing says Holmes will be on the hook for $250 per month or “at least ten percent of her income,” but she would likely have to pay whichever amount was greater.

That’s unless Holmes’s lawyers are successful in getting the payment schedule reduced.

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