Former Theranos President Ramesh 'Sunny' Balwani Gets 13 Years Behind Bars

In July, a jury found Balwani guilty of a multimillion-dollar fraud involving Theranos and its former CEO, Elizabeth Holmes.

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By Jonathan Small

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Disgraced Theranos Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was sentenced today to 13 years behind bars for defrauding investors and patients.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila handed down the sentence in a San Jose, California, federal courthouse.

Last July, Balwani was convicted of collaborating with Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes in a giant fraud scheme involving investors and patients of the blood-testing company. The startup falsely claimed that the device they developed could detect diseases and conditions from just a few drops of blood.

Holmes was sentenced in January to over 11 years in prison for her role in duping investors.

In addition to being second in command at Theranos, Balwani was Holmes' boyfriend, although she claimed in her trial that Balwani sexually and verbally abused her.

Related: What Happened to Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes? Everything from Her Net Worth to Where She Is Now

Who is Ramesh Sunny Balwali?

Not much is known about Balwani, including how he got the nickname "Sunny."

According to a New York Times expose, Balwani once worked as a sales manager for Microsoft and was president of a start-up called during the boom. Balwani made $40 million on that exit and eventually landed a job as the number two at Theranos.

He was later arrested and convicted of two counts of conspiracy and ten counts of wire fraud for his role in the multi-million-dollar Theranos scheme.

Balwani did not speak in his own defense during his trial or his sentencing. He is expected to appeal his conviction.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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