Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to begin 11-year sentence

Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, will report to a federal prison in Texas on Tuesday morning.

The 39-year-old was convicted of defrauding investors in her Palo Alto blood testing startup and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Holmes had filed a motion to stay out on bail while she appealed her conviction, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied that request.

The court ruled that Holmes had not raised a "substantial question" regarding the conduct of her trial or shown that any trial errors were likely to result in reversal or a sentence shorter than the 11-year, three-month prison term handed down by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila.

She is expected to be incarcerated in Bryan, Texas, about 100 miles northwest of her hometown of Houston. The prison was recommended by the judge who sentenced Holmes, but authorities have not publicly disclosed where she will be held.

Prison Consultant and Founder of While Collar Advice Justin Paperny says, although Holmes has been ordered to serve 11 years, there’s a good chance she won’t serve her full sentence.  

"There’s also the First Step Act, which was passed in late 2018. Based on the length of her sentence, will earn her another year off her sentence. Then she’s eligible to get a year in a half-way house or home confinement. So, my estimate is that she’ll serve 7 ½ years in prison presuming she doesn’t get into any trouble," said Paperny.   

Even as Holmes' critics complain minimum security, federal prison isn’t a hard way to serve time, Paperny says she will still feel the isolation of being away from home and will most likely be focused on trying to win her appeal.   

"It’s harder to manage the appeal from prison, but I imagine when she’s not working, exercising, sleeping or programming, she will be in the library working aggressively all day, every day," Paperny said.    

Holmes has maintained her innocence.