Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty of deceiving investors and endangering patients in a case that resulted in an indictment of Silicon Valley. She will be sentenced on Friday (Nov. 18).
The American is being sought by U.S. federal authorities for a 15-year jail sentence as well as for the payment of $800 million in compensation to investors, including media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family of Walmart, and the Walgreens pharmacy chain.
Before the company failed as a result of a Wall Street Journal investigation, Holmes convinced investors over a period of 15 years that she had created a ground-breaking medical device. Holmes was found guilty on four counts in January.
In a court brief arguing for the sentence, US attorney Stephanie Hinds stated that the Theranos founder was "blinded by ... ambition,"
Holmes rose to prominence in Silicon Valley after claiming that her now-defunct start-up was producing an easy-to-use test kit capable of performing a wide range of medical diagnostics with just a few drops of blood.
Holmes persuaded investors that her product will disrupt medical practice by substituting pricey lab tests with her low-cost kits. Her claims benefited Theranos in raising over $1 billion without ever generating meaningful revenue.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and the late George Shultz were on the Theranos board at one point.
In a U.S. court in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, California, Holmes will make her first appearance on Friday before the same judge who presided over her protracted trial.
A TV series, a movie, and books have all been written about Holmes' quick ascent and swift fall, using her experience as a cautionary tale about the excesses of the IT sector that blindly followed a charismatic founder.
Holmes' attorneys have pleaded for leniency, portraying her as a loving friend who takes care of a small child and is expecting a second child.
Around 140 letters of support were sent to the court in support of this, including ones from her family, friends, and a U.S. senator.
This was in stark contrast to the descriptions presented at her trial, which depicted her as an ambitious con artist who tormented her employees.
Given the scope of the scam and the media attention the case has garnered, experts believe Holmes will almost probably face prison time.
Her defense could request that she be released on bail pending an appeal.
"The government will, I assume, fight to have her start her sentence day one - they want her to go to jail," former prosecutor Steven Clark told the San Jose Mercury News. "That will be a difficult call for the court. She's got another child on the way."