This is one of those stories where you could easily believe both sides. However, the only side that matters is the one told by the Justice Department prosecutors, who have all the power and an almost perfect conviction rate.
Remember Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes? If you’re saying, “you mean that baritone-voiced turtle-neck-wearing Steve Jobs wannabe,” you are correct.
She founded Theranos, raised $900 million, became a billionaire, and then the house of cards caved in. She was arrested, indicted, and convicted of multiple fraud charges — and now she’s set to report to federal prison in April.
But in January of 2022, shortly after her conviction, prosecutors said she had booked a one-way flight to Mexico, which was set to take off on January 26, 2022. The interesting thing is that she did not have a return flight booked. Hmmm.
Here’s part of the court filing from the federal government.
“The government became aware on January 23, 2022, that Defendant Holmes booked an international flight to Mexico departing on January 26, 2022, without a scheduled return trip. Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled.”
Is that maybe a tad bit dramatic? I think so. For one thing, we have an extradition agreement with Mexico. You can’t hang out there and not think you’ll get sent back. And she didn’t have a passport. She had to hand it over to the court.
And the excuse Holmes and her lawyer came up with makes a lot of common sense. I think.
Here’s what attorney Lance Wade said.
“The hope was that the verdict would be different and Ms. Holmes would be able to make this trip to attend the wedding of close friends in Mexico. Given the verdict, she does not plan to take the trip – and therefore did not provide notice, seek permission or request access to her passport (which the government has) for the trip.”
One more interesting sidebar here; Her husband had a departure ticket to Mexico the same day — he went, and didn’t return for six weeks, and entered the US from a different county.