SAN JOSE : As Elizabeth Holmes prepares to report to prison next week, the criminal case that laid bare the blood-testing scam at the heart of her Theranos startup is entering its final phase.
The 11-year sentence represents a comeuppance for the wide-eyed woman who broke through “tech bro” culture to become one of Silicon Valley’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, only to be exposed as a fraud. Along the way, Holmes became a symbol of the shameless hyperbole that often saturates startup culture.
But questions still linger about her true intentions — so many that even the federal judge who presided over her trial seemed mystified. And Holmes’ defenders continue to ask whether the punishment fits the crime.
At 39, she seems most likely to be remembered as Silicon Valley’s Icarus — a high-flying entrepreneur burning with reckless ambition whose odyssey culminated in convictions for fraud and conspiracy.
Holmes will begin to pay the price for her deceit on May 30 when she is scheduled begin the sentence that will separate her from her two children — a son whose July 2021 birth delayed the start of her trial and a 3-month-old daughter conceived after her conviction.
She is expected to be incarcerated in Bryan, Texas, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of her hometown of Houston. The prison was recommended by the judge who sentenced Holmes, but authorities have not publicly disclosed where she will be held.