Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes made an “attempt to flee the country” last year with a one-way ticket to Mexico after she was convicted for defrauding investors who backed her bogus blood-testing company, prosecutors said in a court filing.
Holmes, 38, was found guilty of fraud last January and later that month prosecutors sounded the alarm after learning she bought a Jan. 26 plane ticket to Mexico without a scheduled return trip, according to the filing.
“Only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with defense counsel was the trip canceled,” the filing says, according to CNN.
In the new filing, prosecutors argue that Holmes, who’s been living in luxury at a $13,000 per month estate as she appeals her conviction, should finally begin serving her 135-month sentence.
“The incentive to flee has never been higher,” prosecutors said, and Holmes “has the means to act on that incentive.”
Holmes’ attorney responded to prosecutors in an email and claimed that the plane ticket was purchased before the verdict for a friend’s wedding in Mexico, according to the filing. The attorney said that Holmes was hopeful that she would be found innocent and be able to attend the event.
A federal judge had ordered Holmes, who is pregnant with her second child, to begin serving her sentence on April 27.
Attorneys for Holmes have argued that she should be allowed to remain free on bail during her appeal because it will raise “substantial issues” about her case that could lead to a new trial.
However, the feds put their foot down, saying the “time has come” for Holmes to report to prison.
Holmes was found guilty in January of defrauding investors of nearly $1 billion in her now-defunct blood-testing company and sentenced to 135 months in prison in November.
Theranos, a blood-testing startup company once valued at over $9 billion, imploded in 2015 after a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed the company’s technology could not perform with the accuracy and ability that Holmes promised.