Sunny Balwani Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Theranos Fraud

Sunny Balwani
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The former president of the biotech startup was found guilty on 12 charges of fraud. 

Former Theranos president Sunny Balwani has been sentenced to nearly 13 years (155 months) in prison. District Judge Edward Davila's ruling comes after the disgraced businessman and Elizabeth Holmes' ex-boyfriend was found guilty on 12 fraud charges earlier this year.

Almost a month prior, the same judge determined Holmes should serve 11 years in prison, with the convicted founder of the biotech startup slated to start her sentence in April 2023. Balwani also received three years of probation.  

The decision in Balwani's case represents the final chapter in the long saga surrounding the meteoric rise and fall of Holmes and her blood-sampling company, which she had promised would revolutionize the healthcare industry. After Theranos failed to live up to its promises, it was revealed that both Holmes and Balwani had lied to investors and were even charged and convicted on various fraud charges.   

As ET previously reported, Balwani’s trial finally started this spring, after several delays due to the pandemic. His time in court also coincided with Hulu's release of the true-crime scripted series, The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as Balwani.  

After a lengthy trial and four full days of deliberation, a jury determined that the businessman was guilty of all the criminal charges brought against him. Each charge could have led up to 20 years max in prison with the conspiracy charges carrying a maximum of five years. 

Leading up to Balwani's return to court, the prosecutors in the case asked that he receive 15 years in prison while his defense team argued that he should be put on probation and not serve any jail time. "Decisions were made by Elizabeth Holmes. The position that investors lost everything, and Mr. Balwani should be on the hook is wrong," his lawyers argued in court on Wednesday. "One of those investors is Mr. Balwani."