Elizabeth Holmes Fires Back at Claim She Tried to Flee

Amy Osborne / AFP via Getty
Amy Osborne / AFP via Getty

Attorneys for Elizabeth Holmes furiously denied prosecutors’ recent claim that the Theranos founder attempted to “flee the country” after she was convicted on four fraud charges last year.

In a court filing on Monday, the defense lawyers asked the court to strike inaccuracies from the record, including the “baseless” allegation that she tried to hightail it to Mexico on a one-way ticket. Prosecutors “recklessly and incorrectly accuse Ms. Holmes and her partner [Billy Evans] of attempted flight and present incomplete and provably inaccurate statements of fact in support of that accusation,” the filing said. The government had raised the issue while challenging Holmes’ request to stay out of prison pending her appeal.

The truth of the matter, Holmes’ lawyers wrote, was that Evans purchased the tickets in December 2021, “before the verdict,” and in the hopes that Holmes would soon be acquitted. When that didn’t happen, he failed to quickly cancel the reservation, but Holmes’ attorneys argued that “there was no way for her to go” anyway since she didn’t have access to her passport (which had expired) and did not seek court approval to travel abroad.

The attorneys submitted an email exchange from last January between some members of Holmes’ legal team and a prosecutor, Jeffrey Schenk, in which Schenk acknowledged Holmes’ excuse and said he “suspected there was an explanation” for her travel itinerary.

The following day, Holmes’ lawyers followed up with more context, and Schenk replied, “Thank you again for the background information, confirmation, and for addressing this situation quickly. I do not believe there is need for us to discuss this further, but I will certainly be in touch if that changes.”

Holmes’ attorneys argued that the flight risk claims distort her “flawless pretrial services record.” Furthermore, they refuted prosecutors’ allegation that Evans left the country on a one-way ticket last January and “and did not return until approximately six weeks later… from a different continent.” In fact, Evans and the lawyers said, he returned to the U.S. from Mexico four days after departing.

In addition to the factual disputes, Monday’s filing also requested that the court seal claims contained in last week’s prosecutorial paperwork, including that Holmes’ monthly expenses are more than $13,000 even as Evans earns no salary. Citing confidentiality, Holmes’ lawyers also want the court to seal mention of her alleged petition to loosen her travel restrictions “due to her significant other’s employment.”

Assuming she loses her appeal, Holmes faces 135 months in prison. The court will soon decide when she would begin serving that term.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.