Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico departing in January 2022, shortly after the founder of Theranos was convicted of fraud, prosecutors alleged in a new trial Friday.
Holmes was convicted last January of defrauding investors while running the failed blood test startup Theranos. In November, she was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison. She has appealed against her conviction.
The allegation that she attempted to leave the country last year surfaced as part of a new filing from prosecutors who claimed that Holmes should serve her prison sentence instead of living on an estate that reportedly has $13,000 in monthly maintenance costs while she awaits her appeal.
In the filing, prosecutors allege that Holmes has failed to provide compelling evidence that she does not pose a flight risk, as her attorneys have stated, and used the alleged 2022 incident to support their concern that she could pose such a risk.
“The government was informed on January 23, 2022 that Defendant Holmes had booked an international flight to Mexico departing January 26, 2022, with no scheduled return,” the court said. “It was only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with the defense that the trip was canceled.”
The filing adds that prosecutors expects Holmes to “answer that indeed she did not leave the country as planned”, but said “it is difficult to know for sure” what she would have done “if the government had not intervened”. Now, in the wake of her sentencing, prosecutors say “the impetus to run has never been greater” and that Holmes “has the resources to respond to that impetus.”
A lawyer for Holmes did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on Friday’s filing.
The lawsuit includes an email from one of Holmes’ lawyers to the prosecution alleging that the travel reservation was made before the verdict. In the email, Holmes’ attorney claims the former CEO of Theranos hoped the verdict would be different and that she could make this trip to attend friends’ wedding in Mexico.
In a previous lawsuit, Holmes’ lawyers argued for her release pending appeal, saying she did not pose a flight risk or threat to the community.
Holmes has been ordered to take himself into custody on April 27, 2023.
“There are not two justice systems – one for the rich and one for the poor – there is one criminal justice system in this country,” the prosecutors said in the indictment. They argue that “under that system, the time has come” for Holmes to answer for her crimes.
Once valued at $9 billion, Theranos attracted top investors and retail partners with claims it had developed technology to test for a wide variety of conditions with just a few drops of blood. The company began to fall apart after a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation reported that Theranos had performed only about a dozen of the hundreds of tests it offered using its proprietary technology and with questionable accuracy.