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Elizabeth Holmes Asks For 18 Months Home Stay Instead of Jail After the Former Theranos CEO Was Convicted of Fraud The filing argued the "real" Holmes has been obscured by "media vitriol."

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Bloomberg I Getty Images
Elizabeth Holmes leaving federal court in October 2022.

In a court filing Thursday, the legal team for Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO of Theranos, made a case to get the founder out of serving a lengthy prison sentence for defrauding investors.

"We acknowledge that this may seem a tall order given the public perception of this case," the filing said, per Bloomberg.

It asked for her to serve 18 months confined in her home.

In addition, 130 people connected to the founder, including former Theranos investors and family and friends, submitted letters in her support. The filing argued the "real" Holmes has been obscured by "media vitriol."

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 and claimed the company had a revolutionary test that could use a much smaller amount of blood to test for a wider range of illnesses, including cancer, and raised $700 million for the company. She was extensively profiled in Fortune in 2014, which boosted her profile enormously.

Her company at that time was valued at almost $9 billion.

Related: The Career Rise and Fall of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes

Then, in 2015 and 2016, reports from the Wall Street Journal exposed that the technology fundamentally did not work. Holmes stepped down as CEO in 2018.

Holmes was convicted of four fraud-related counts in January The story in part was recounted in Hulu's "The Dropout" where Amanda Seyfried won an Emmy for playing the founder.

In the filing Thursday, as the outlet noted, Holmes discussed again her claims that she was being emotionally and physically abused by business partner Sunny Balwani. He was convicted in a different trial in July of 12 counts of fraud.

Holmes' team also said, per Bloomberg, that she's become a sexual violence crisis counselor.

The filing is something of a hail mary. Some of the counts of fraud she was convicted for include minimum sentences of nine years, per the outlet. The prosecution still has to give the judge, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, recommendations for a prison sentence.

This week, Holmes' team failed to get a new trial after claiming a key witness might have been pressured by the prosecution.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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