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The backstory: Last January, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of defrauding investors while running the blood-testing startup, which promised to revolutionize the industry with a device called Edison. But it turns out those promises were false, and the tech didn't actually work. She was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison in November. She's supposed to turn herself in this April to begin serving her sentence, and prosecutors have said this extra waiting time was "generous" since she's pregnant.
More recently: Holmes appealed the conviction. She's been living free to finish out her pregnancy, but now Holmes is asking to stay out of jail beyond April while her appeals play out, which could take more than a year.
The development: Now, prosecutors have said the ex-billionaire booked a one-way ticket to Mexico shortly after being convicted. They've asked for her to serve her sentence instead of living in her house, which she pays US$13,000 a month for. They also argued that they're not convinced she's not a flight risk.
The court filing also included an email from one of her lawyers saying the flight was booked before the ruling. They said Holmes had hoped things would turn out differently and wanted to attend a friend's wedding in Mexico.
"As an initial matter, defendant's record with Pretrial Services and the court does not account for her attempt to flee the country shortly after she was convicted. The government became aware on 23 January 2022, that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on 26 January 2022 without a scheduled return trip," said prosecutors in the new filing on Thursday.
"The time has come for Elizabeth Holmes to answer for her crimes committed nearly a decade ago," said prosecutors in the filing. "There are not two systems of justice - one for the wealthy and one for the poor."
"She repeatedly chose lies, hype and the prospect of billions of dollars over patient safety and fair dealing with investors," wrote Assistant US Attorney Robert S. Leach in a brief filed in November. "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."