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A federal judge on Friday will decide whether disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes should serve a lengthy prison sentence for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling a bogus blood-testing technology.

Holmes’ sentencing in the same San Jose, California, courtroom where she was convicted on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in January marks a climactic moment in a saga that has been dissected in an HBO documentary and an award-winning Hulu TV series about her meteoric rise and mortifying downfall.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila will take center stage as he weighs the federal government’s recommendation to send Holmes, 38, to federal prison for 15 years. That’s slightly less than the maximum sentence of 20 years she could face, but far longer than her legal team’s attempt to limit her incarceration to no more than 18 months, preferably served in home confinement. Her lawyers have argued that Holmes deserves more lenient treatment as a well-meaning entrepreneur who is now a devoted mother with another child on the way.

Prosecutors also want Holmes to pay $804 million in restitution. The amount covers most of the nearly $1 billion that Holmes raised from a list of sophisticated investors that included software magnate Larry Ellison, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and the Walton family behind Walmart.

While wooing investors, Holmes leveraged a high-powered Theranos board that included former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who testified against her during her trial, and two former U.S. Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz, whose son submitted a statement blasting Holmes for concocting a scheme that played Shultz “for the fool.”

Davila’s judgment – and Holmes’ reporting date for a potential stint in prison -- could be affected by the former entrepreneur’s second pregnancy in two years. After giving birth to a son shortly before her trial started last year, Holmes became pregnant at some point while free on bail this year.


Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence disgraced Theranos CE0 Elizabeth Holmes to 15 years in prison, arguing she deserves a lengthy prison term because her massive scheme duped investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars by falsely convincing them her company had developed a revolutionary blood testing device.

Calling the case “one of the most substantial white collar offenses Silicon Valley or any other District has seen,” prosecutors vehemently rejected defense attorneys’ characterization that Holmes had been unfairly victimized, in part by media coverage.

Holmes is set to appear for sentencing on Nov. 18 in federal court in San Jose, California, nearly a year after she was convicted of three felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of conspiracy to commit fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.

“She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Leach wrote in a 46-page brief filed Friday. “Elizabeth Holmes’ crimes were not failing, they were lying — lying in the most serious context, where everyone needed her to tell the truth.”

Holmes’ attorneys filed an 82-page document late Thursday calling for a lenient sentence of no more than 18 months, saying her reputation was permanently destroyed, turning her into a “caricature to be mocked and vilified.”

Besides asking that Holmes receive a lengthy prison sentence, prosecutors called for the 38-year-old pay $803,840,309 in restitution for her role in the yearslong scheme that turned her into one of the most widely respected and immensely wealthy entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and the United States.

“She preyed on hopes of her investors that a young, dynamic entrepreneur had changed healthcare. She leveraged the credibility of her illustrious board,” Leach wrote. “And, through her deceit, she attained spectacular fame, adoration, and billions of dollars of wealth.”

Leach also pointed to how, after Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou exposed the scheme, Holmes “attacked him, along with his sources” and desperately tried to pin the blame on others.

“At trial, she blamed her COO (and longtime boyfriend), her board, her scientists, her business partners, her investors, her marketing firm, her attorneys, the media — everyone, that is, but herself,” Leach wrote.

The company’s former chief operating officer, 57-year-old Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, was convicted on 12 felony counts of investor and patient fraud in July during separate trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7.

And Leach wrote that the health of actual patients was put into jeopardy by what Holmes had done.

“As money was drying up, she went to market with an unproven and unreliable medical device,” he wrote. “When her lead assay developer quit as Theranos launched, she chillingly told the scientist: ‘she has a promise to deliver to the customer, she doesn’t have much of a choice but to go ahead with the launch.’”

Holmes’ attorneys have argued that if U.S. District Judge Edward Davila does decide to send her to prison, she deserves a lenient sentence because she poses no danger to the public and has no prior criminal history.


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A judge ruled on Friday that Facebook owner Meta repeatedly and intentionally violated Washington campaign-finance law, and must pay penalties, the Washington state Attorney General’s Office said.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office said the penalties will be determined at a later date and that the court also denied Meta’s effort to invalidate Washington’s law on political ad transparency.

The oral ruling happened during a hearing before King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North, The Seattle Times reported.

In a statement, Ferguson said his office defeated Facebook’s “cynical attempt” to gut Washington’s campaign-finance transparency law.

“On behalf of the people of Washington, I challenge Facebook to accept this decision and do something very simple – follow the law,” Ferguson said.

California-based Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.

The social media giant, which also owns Instagram and other social media platforms, has repeatedly objected to the requirements, and argued in a summary judgment motion that Washington’s law “unduly burdens political speech” and is “virtually impossible to comply with.”

The law allows financial penalties of $10,000 per violation, which can be tripled when violations are deemed intentional. The Attorney General’s Office asserts Facebook has committed hundreds of violations since 2018.


Social media has had a rough 2022 with lingering questions about advertising spending, political ads and a $44 billion takeover of Twitter that may or may not be happening, depending on which Elon Musk tweet you read.

Then late Monday Snap, which runs the Snapchat app that features vanishing messages and video special effects, issued a rather dire profit warning, saying that “the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” since just last month.

Social media companies are competing for the same pool of advertising money that is increasingly under threat from spiking inflation and also changes at Apple Inc. that can restrict the information social media platforms can collect on users, a big selling point for advertisers.

Shares of Snap Inc. plunged 43% Tuesday. And with Wall Street unsure if the company is an outlier or a canary in the social media coal mine, shares of Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Twitter, Alphabet and Pinterest all slumped alongside it.

Snap late Monday said it now foresees revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization coming in below the low end of its prior forecasted range.

Justin Patterson of KeyBanc Capital Markets who follows social media warned investors not to read too much into Snap’s profit warning, calling it “a cautionary flag but not one to sound the alarm on the entire sector.”


Proponents in Maine of a stalled $1 billion energy corridor that sought to bringing Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid asked the state’s high court to breathe new life into the project Tuesday.

Attorneys for developers argued that a referendum in which voters rejected the project had the effect of retroactively overturning developers’ vested rights — and violating the constitutional separation of powers.

“The credibility of the state of Maine is at stake in this case,” said John Aromando, attorney for the New England Clean Energy Connect.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court was asked to weigh in on two separate lawsuits involving the high-profile project.

Developers are seeking to declare the November referendum unconstitutional. Another lawsuit focuses on a lease allowing transmission lines to cross a short segment of state land.

Chief Justice Valerie Stanfill, noting the packed courtroom, acknowledged that there’s a high level of interest in the case. She said a written decision will be issued “as soon as we can.”

Obviously we are addressing only the legal issues — not the propriety or wisdom of the project,” she said.

Funded by Massachusetts ratepayers, the New England Clean Energy Connect would supply up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower. That’s enough electricity for 1 million homes.

Critics contend the environmental benefits are overstated, and that the project would destroy woodlands in western Maine.

Supporters say bold projects are necessary to battle climate change and that the electricity, although earmarked for Massachusetts ratepayers, would help an entire region that’s heavily reliant on natural gas, which can cause spikes in energy costs in the winter.

Most of the proposed 145-mile (233-kilometer) power transmission line would be built along existing corridors, but a new 53-mile (85-kilometer) section is needed to reach the Canadian border.

Central Maine Power’s parent company and Hydro Quebec teamed up on the project, and workers were already clearing trees and setting poles when the governor asked for work to be suspended after Mainers voiced their disapproval. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection later suspended its permit but that decision can be reversed depending on the outcome before the state’s Supreme Court.

The utilities contend the referendum was unconstitutional because it retroactively put the brakes on a project that was properly permitted by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, Maine Public Utilities Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in addition to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.


EU regulators must block tech companies from transferring data outside the bloc in cases in which privacy rules are broken, an advisor to the European Union’s top court said Thursday, part of a lengthy legal case involving an Austrian privacy campaigner and Facebook.

The European Court of Justice’s advocate general said that so-called “standard contractual clauses” - in which businesses commit to abide by strict EU privacy standards when transferring messages, photos and other information - are adequate. Companies like Facebook routinely move such data among its servers around the world, and the clauses - stock terms and conditions - are used to ensure the EU rules are maintained when data leaves the bloc.

Activist Max Schrems, worried about Europeans facing mass U.S. surveillance, had argued the clauses mean authorities in individual EU countries can, by law, halt data transfers in specific cases if data privacy is violated.

Advocate General Henrik Saugmandsgaard Oe agreed, saying in a preliminary opinion that a provision in the clauses means companies and regulators have an obligation to suspend or prohibit transfers if there’s a conflict with the law in a third country such as the U.S.

The advocate general’s opinion is not binding but may influence the court’s judges when they issue their final ruling.

The case has potentially far-reaching implications for social media companies that move large amounts of data via the internet. Facebook’s European subsidiary regularly does so.

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