Former partner of Elizabeth Holmes wins delay in sentencing

Nov 7, 2022, 12:15 PM | Updated: 12:46 pm
FILE - Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, right, the former lover and business partner of Theranos CEO Elizabe...

FILE - Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, right, the former lover and business partner of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., June 24, 2022. A federal judge on Monday, Nov. 7, granted a three-week delay in the sentencing of Balwani to give probation officers more time to recommend his punishment for engineering a scam tied to Theranos’ blood-testing technology. (AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Liedtke, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday granted a three-week delay in the sentencing of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former lover and accomplice of disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, to give probation officers more time to recommend his punishment for engineering a scam tied to Theranos’ blood-testing technology.

Balwani, 57, is now scheduled to be sentenced December 7, a postponement from the Nov. 15 date set in July after a jury convicted him on 12 felony counts of a fraud and conspiracy against Theranos investors and patients who relied on the company’s flawed blood tests.

The revision means Balwani is now set to be sentenced after Holmes, 38, who is scheduled to find out on Nov. 18 whether she will be sent to prison for her conviction on four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy in a separate trial that concluded before his did.

Both Holmes and Balwani are facing up to 20 years in prison.

There is still a slim chance that Holmes’ could avoid being sentenced this month if U.S. District Judge Edward Davila grants her request for a new trial, based on a remorseful visit that a key witness in her trial paid to her Silicon Valley house in August.

That witness, former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff, told Holmes’ current partner, William “Billy” Evans, that he felt remorseful about his role in potentially sending her to prison, but subsequently told Davila under oath that he stood by his testimony against her during the trial. Davila hasn’t yet ruled on Holmes’ request for a new trial, but has left the Nov. 18 sentencing date on his court calendar.

Balwani had been seeking to delay his sentencing until Jan. 23 because of an undisclosed health issue and also to ensure his family, including his nieces and nephews, could be present after they complete their finals at school. His attorney, Jeffrey Coopersmith, told Davila that Balwani is in the midst of the treatment designed to resolve the problem around Nov. 10 while emphasizing it’s still unclear if he will be better.

“He is here (in court) today, but he is not well,” Coopersmith told Davila.

Davila told Coopersmith medical treatment will be available in prison, if necessary, and added his remarks shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign he has already decided on Balwani’s penalty.

“I just don’t think going into January (for sentencing) is really needed,” Davila said.

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Former partner of Elizabeth Holmes wins delay in sentencing