On Tuesday, former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was taken into custody and transported to a prison in Texas to begin serving an 11-year sentence for fraud and misrepresentation related to her biotech company’s blood-testing technology.
Holmes, now 39 years old, will serve her sentence at a minimum-security women’s prison camp in Bryan, Texas, about 95 miles northwest of Houston. As a child, Holmes idolized Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and hoped to one day achieve Jobs’ level of technological innovation and creativity. Her almost 2-year-old boy was born just weeks before her trial began, and her 3-month-old daughter was conceived after her conviction in November of 2022.
About 700 women, including former “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennifer Shah, who was sentenced to 6 and a half years in jail earlier this year for scamming hundreds of people in a telemarketing scam, are housed on FPC Bryan’s about 37 acres of land.
The New York Times reports that the inmate population includes a former Enron executive, Jenna Ryan, who was involved in the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, and Michelle Janavs, who is the heiress to the Hot Pockets fortune and a former investment executive who was involved in the college admissions scandal.
We have communal housing and workplaces
The lowest security risk inmates are housed in federal prison camps that don’t even have fencing. Even though many inmates in prison camps hold down employment, staffing levels are often low.
Inmates at FPC Bryan in Texas can earn anything from 12 cents to $1.15 per hour working in the prison’s food service or one of the Federal Prison Industries’ factories, according to the facility’s 2016 inmate handbook.
Up to three additional inmates could be housed in the same cell as Holmes. The cells include two bunk beds with mattresses “about as thick as the width of a hand,” detainees have said. The Journal reported that inmates have access to a recreation center, jogging track, televisions, and libraries. By 8 o’clock every night, the inmates must be back in their cells.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the facility will allow the former executive to have visits from her family, complete with play areas for their children and communal areas for get-togethers. According to Bureau of Prisons regulations, Holmes will be allowed to carry her children on her lap and breastfeed her newborn daughter.
Holmes’s exact time spent in confinement at the Bryan prison is unclear, and she may be eligible for early release before the end of her term. The Office of Justice states that federal offenders who take part in approved prison programs or get prizes for good behavior may have their sentences shortened.
After a lengthy legal battle, during which Holmes successfully avoided incarceration while appealing her sentence, Holmes has now arrived at the facility. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over her trial, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both rejected her appeal, leaving her with no choice but to follow the path that will lead her to prison over 20 years after she started Theranos.
Holmes was convicted of four counts of fraud and conspiracy for misleading investors about her company’s blood-testing technology. She was accused of making false claims about the accuracy and reliability of Theranos’s technology, and of exaggerating the company’s progress in developing its products.
Holmes will be eligible for parole after serving 85% of her sentence. This means that she could be released from prison in 2034.