Ex-Theranos exec Sunny Balwani finds way to delay prison sentence
Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was spared Thursday from the scheduled start of his nearly 13-year prison sentence for blood test fraud. Former boss and lover, Elizabeth Holmes.
Hours before Balwani surrendered to authorities, his attorney submitted documents informing U.S. District Judge Edward Davila that he would not surrender.
The notice cited Davila’s last-minute appeal of a recent decision to overturn Balwani’s conviction on 12 counts of fraud and conspiracy while rejecting Balwani’s request to remain free. Wednesday’s appeal of Davila’s March 9 ruling triggered the automatic stay of his jail reporting date, which was set for Thursday at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
That’s because Balwani, 57, has been out on bail since a jury convicted him last July, triggering a provision that allows him to stay out of jail pending an appeal. The Ninth Circuit Court does not consider Davila’s decision issued last week, according to the notice. Filed by Balwani’s attorney Jeffrey Coopersmith.
It is unclear how long it will take before the appeals court makes a decision.
Terminal Island Jail
If and when he is sent to prison, Balwani will serve his time at a facility near a Southern California port, according to other documents Coopersmith filed Wednesday. That destination represents a change from the Atlanta prison that authorities initially assigned Balwani to.
The change means Balwani will remain at the Terminal Island jail in San Pedro, California, about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The prison has housed several other notable figures, including gangster Al Capone in the 1930s, apocalyptic cult leader Charles Manson for an auto theft in the 1950s, and LSD evangelist Timothy Leary in the 1970s.
In a filing last week, Coopersmith asked Davila for additional time to appeal the Bureau of Prisons’ decision to send him to the Atlanta facility on allegations of widespread misconduct and other abuses. Davila recommended Balwani be sent to the Lompoc Jail in Santa Barbara County, about 250 miles from the San Jose courtroom where he was on trial.
Holmes also wants a delay.
Holmes, 39, and his attorneys will have an opportunity to try to persuade Davila to delay the start of his April 27, more than 11-year prison sentence in San Jose, Calif., on Friday morning. will be held during the hearing.
This will mark Holmes’ first court appearance. Since giving birth to the child she was carrying. On November 18, he was sentenced on four counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Although they were tried separately, Holmes and Balwani were charged with essentially the same crimes centered on trying to portray Theranos’ blood-testing system as a revolutionary breakthrough in health care. were Those claims helped the company become a Silicon Valley sensation that raised nearly $1 billion from investors.
But its technology never came close to working as Holmes and Balwani boasted, leading to Theranos’ ignominious demise and a criminal trial that shined a bright light on Silicon Valley’s greed and hubris.