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Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, Elizabeth Holmes' ex-boyfriend, helped her build the infamous health tech startup Theranos—and he's now facing the consequences for his involvement in the scheme.
Elizabeth was sentenced to 11 years and three months in November 2022.
On Dec. 7, Sunny was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison, after being convicted of 12 fraud-related charges.
The wild and complicated story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and her quest to create a company that would diagnose a slew of serious health conditions with a single drop of blood is finally drawing to a close.
As you probably already know, things went south big time and Elizabeth—and her company—went down in flames.
Elizabeth dropped out of Stanford University to run her new company, rising to fame before crashing down after the blood testing machines that were her brainchild didn't work the way she promised investors they did.
Her boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who also served as the president and chief operating officer of Theranos, was by Elizabeth's side most of the way—and he plays a big role in the legal issues that arose, too.
On Dec. 7, Federal District Judge Edward J. Davila sentenced Sunny to nearly 13 years in prison, according to The Washington Post. He was convicted of 12 fraud-related charges back in July.
But…who exactly is Sunny Balwani and where is he now? Here’s everything you need to know.
Sunny invested in Theranos and helped Elizabeth run the company.
Sunny and Elizabeth met in Beijing, China, in 2002. They were both students—18-year-old Elizabeth was on a language-immersion trip with Stanford University, while 37-year-old Sunny was pursuing his MBA at the University of California, Berkeley, per Refinery29.
At 19, Holmes dropped out of college to start Theranos. When she needed more investors to help the company expand, Sunny gave her enough money to keep going.
"The company was low on cash, and I knew of the mission and that what the company was trying to do was paramount and I offered to help the company and I ended up giving a $13 million personal loan," Sunny revealed in court testimony obtained by The Dropout podcast. "It was interest-free. It was a good-faith loan."
In 2009, Sunny became the president and COO of Theranos. He and Elizabeth hid their relationship while they worked together. In 2016, the pair split up and Sunny left Theranos.
Around then, the legal issues started piling up—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services banned Sunny from owning or operating a blood laboratory again, per Refinery29. And, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed four claims against him for violating the U.S. Securities Act.
Sunny’s trial ended in a guilty verdict.
Sunny's trial began in March of this year after COVID-19 delays, per ABC News. Sunny's trial was being held in the same courtroom where Elizabeth was convicted earlier in January, and he faced the same charges.
Sunny was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts. Elizabeth did not testify at his trial, per The New York Post.
He’s been accused of abuse.
During her trial, Elizabeth accused Sunny of emotional and physical abuse, which he has since denied.
Texts between the two were released during the trial, which included Sunny saying things like “Missing u in every breath and in every cell,” per Bloomberg, with Elizabeth replying “ditto.”
During her trial, Elizabeth shared notes she said Sunny had given her that broke down how she should act and speak, per CNBC. She also said that he managed her diet and her relationships with other people.
He didn’t have the nicest reputation at the company.
A former Theranos employee told 60 Minutes that Sunny was abrupt with staffers and would fire people on the spot who didn’t produce the test results they were after.
He’s not in jail.
While Sunny faces up to two decades in prison on fraud charges, like Elizabeth, he’s not currently in police custody.
He sold the home where he and Elizabeth lived together.
Earlier in March, Sunny sold the 6,800-square foot home where he and Elizabeth lived in Atherton, California, for a cool $15.8 million, the New York Post reported. The two originally bought the mansion in 2013 for $9 million.
He was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison.
On Dec. 7 in San Jose, California, Federal District Judge Edward J. Davila sentenced Sunny to nearly 13 years in prison, according to The Washington Post. Sunny was convicted of 12 fraud-related charges back in July.
Juries in the trials of Elizabeth and Sunny concluded that both misled investors, per WaPost. Sunny was also convicted of defrauding patients who used the technology, which was available for a short period at some drugstores. He is expected to appeal his conviction.
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