Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of disgraced biotech company Theranos, still had a one-way ticket to Mexico shortly after she was found guilty of fraud last January, prosecutors said Thursday.
Holmes was found guilty of four counts of lying to investors on January 3, 2022. According to a court filing from Thursday, on January 23, 2022, the US government learned of the ticket for a flight to Mexico that It would be out on January 26. 2022 with no return trip scheduled.
In the response submission, prosecutors characterize his itinerary as «an attempt to flee the country.»
“Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with the defense attorney was the trip cancelled,” prosecutors said.
It is unclear when Holmes originally purchased the ticket. Responding to a Jan. 23, 2022, inquiry about the fine from the lead federal prosecutor in the case, an attorney for Holmes characterized the situation as a misunderstanding, according to evidence also filed Thursday.
“In general, this was a reservation that was made prior to the verdict,” Lance Wade said in response to Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Schenk, according to the exhibit. «The hope was that the verdict would be different and that Ms. Holmes would be able to make this trip to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico. Given the verdict, she does not plan to make the trip and therefore did not give notice.» . , seek permission, or request access to her passport (held by the government) for the trip. But she hadn’t canceled the trip either, in the midst of everything she’s been going through.»
The filing of the prosecutors’ response came as part of the government’s opposition to Holmes’s motion to release pending the appeal of his sentence; in November, a judge sentenced Holmes to more than 11 years in prison. US District Court Judge Edward Davila ordered Holmes to turn himself in to custody by April 27. It has not yet been determined where he will serve his sentence, but Dávila has recommended a minimum security prison camp in Texas.
Holmes’ partner, William Evans, also bought a one-way ticket «and did not return until approximately six weeks later, returning from a different continent,» prosecutors said.
«The government anticipates (Holmes) will respond that she did not, in fact, leave the country as scheduled, but it is difficult to know for sure what (Holmes) would have done if the government had not intervened,» prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also allege that Holmes maintains access to vast financial resources.
«(Holmes) has lived in a property for more than a year where, according to (Holmes’) monthly cash flow statement provided to the US Probation Office, monthly expenses exceed $13,000 per month.» , they write.
They further note that a judge has found that Holmes «never fully appreciated that [s]would be imprisoned” based on “unfounded hopes that the Court would give him [her] an evidentiary sentence.” Furthermore, Holmes has not “proved . . . in [her] word or manner, a genuine acceptance that [s]stole a large amount of money from [investors] lying and falsifying documents,” prosecutors say.
Therefore, they are vehemently opposed to any release.
«At the same time that his incentive to flee has never been greater, (Holmes) has asked the Court to relax the restrictions on his travels, allowing him to travel outside of the Northern District of California and perhaps out of state altogether ‘due to employment. of your partner’”.
The United States has maintained bilateral extradition treaties with Mexico dating back to the 19th century, perhaps against the belief that crossing the southern border guarantees freedom. Since 2005, Mexico has deported between 150 and 200 fugitives to face charges in the US, according to the US Department of State..
In one prominent example, Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, convicted of disability and insurance fraud in 2013, was arrested in Mexico six months after an account in her name tweeted: «Catch me if you can.»
The US Marshals Service is the primary agency designated to track fugitives. In addition to maintaining an office in Mexico, the USMS works closely with law enforcement agencies along the Mexican and Canadian borders and with the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
An attorney for Holmes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.