Elizabeth Holmes went to Burning Man, set fire to an effigy for Theranos, and then lived in an RV for 6 months while prosecutors filed a case against her for fraudulent business practices

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on November 18, 2022 in San Jose, California.  Holmes appeared in federal court for sentencing after being convicted of four counts of fraud for allegedly being involved in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors in her company Theranos, which provided laboratory services for blood testing.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, on November 18, 2022 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • In her first interview since 2016, Elizabeth Holmes told NYT her take on her fraudulent business.

  • After the company disbanded, she burned an effigy for Theranos and then lived in an RV for six months.

  • The former CEO said she felt “an incredible sense of sadness” over her business failures.

You became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire through your fraudulent blood testing business, only to collapse your house of cards. You face jail. How are you?

You go to Burning Man.

At least that was the solution for Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, who faces 11 years in prison after being convicted of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Holmes opened up about her imprisonment in her first interview with The New York Times since 2016.

In 2018, after Theranos failed to deliver on Holmes’ promises and was discovered to have defrauded investors out of more than $100 million, a grand jury convicted her on 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud-related cases Charged with her business venture, her impulse was to attend the Bougie Desert gathering, known for its massive immersive art installations, drug use, and $100,000 A-ticket camps with chef-prepared food and luxurious accommodations.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 05: Elizabeth Holmes, Founder & CEO of Theranos speaks at the Forbes Under 30 Summit at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 5, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

Holmes speaking at the 2015 Forbes Under 30 Summit at the Pennsylvania Convention CenterLisa Lake/Getty Images

“There was an incredible sense of sadness because I had given everything for it, my entire life, since I was 18,” Holmes told the Times of the post-Theranos dissolution.

An attorney for Holmes did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

At Burning Man, Holmes told the outlet that she and partner Billy Evans burned an effigy for the failed deal and, as prosecutors began building their case against them, traveled the country by motor home for six months.

During this time, the couple parked at malls and campgrounds while Holmes worked on her legal defense between hikes and outdoor yoga sessions.

“Even though that time was a crisis and Theranos was my life and like my child I gave everything I had,” Holmes told the New York Times. When it was gone, she added, “I got free too.”

Holmes continues to try to avert her 11-year sentence, most recently appealing a judge’s refusal to allow her to remain free while she appeals her conviction.

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani — former president and COO of Theranos, and ex-boyfriend of Holmes and a co-defendant in their trial — successfully used the same tactic to push back his sentence by about a month.

Finally, in April, he reported himself to prison to serve his 13-year sentence.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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