Prosecutors allege in a new court filing Friday that Elizabeth Holmes made a “attempt to flee the country” by booking a one-way ticket to Mexico departing in January 2022, shortly after the Theranos founder was convicted of fraud.
Last January, Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing startup Theranos. She was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison in November. She has appealed her conviction and will not begin her prison sentence until this spring, a “generous” waiting period described by prosecutors as necessary due to her pregnancy.
The claim that she attempted to flee the country last year was made public as part of a new filing by prosecutors arguing that Holmes should begin serving her prison sentence rather than living on an estate with $13,000 in monthly maintenance costs.
Prosecutors argue in the filing that Holmes has not provided convincing evidence that she is not a flight risk, as her lawyers have claimed, and cite the alleged 2022 incident to back up their concerns.
“On January 23, 2022, the government learned that Defendant Holmes had booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, with no scheduled return trip,” the court filing states. “The trip was canceled only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel.”
Prosecutors expect Holmes to “reply that she did not, in fact, leave the country as scheduled,” but it’s “difficult to know with certainty” what she would have done “had the government not intervened,” according to the filing. Prosecutors now claim that “the incentive to flee has never been higher,” and Holmes “has the means to act on that incentive.”