Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Elizabeth Holmes’s erstwhile boyfriend and president of Theranos, was sentenced last week to 155 months (one month short of 13 years) in prison for his role in the fraud and conspiracy they both perpetrated. People following this case already know that Holmes was sentenced to just over 11 years.
If you’re curious as to why, it’s easy enough to explain. Sunny was convicted of 12 counts while Holmes was only convicted of four counts. The extra counts related primarily to the patients who were given false medical test reports and the doctors who prescribed them in reliance on the false claims of Theranos. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the extra counts can be a factor both in the amount of “loss” and can also trigger an enhancement for taking advantage of vulnerable victims. I don’t know if the judge applied that enhancement for Balwani, but the jury found him guiltier than Holmes’s jury did, so he is paying the consequence. Both Holmes and Balwani plan to appeal their sentences. Both should surrender to prison early next year.