BRYAN, Texas (AP) — Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has reported to a federal prison in Texas — marking the start of her 11-year sentence for overseeing a notorious blood testing hoax.
Holmes, 39, was convicted of fraud last year for duping investors who contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in the failed Silicon Valley startup.
Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ former partner and fellow executive who is currently serving a nearly 13-year prison sentence, said Theranos had developed a device that could quickly scan for diseases and other medical conditions with a just few drops of blood. But the technology never worked as advertised — leading to the meteoric downfall of a company that once promised to revolutionize health care.
On Tuesday, Holmes entered a federal women’s prison camp in Bryan, Texas — a minimum-security facility where the federal judge who sentenced Holmes in November recommended she be incarcerated.
Here are some things to know about Federal Prison Camp Bryan and Holmes’ arrival at the facility.
WHY IS HOLMES BEING INCARCERATED IN BRYAN NOW?
Holmes reported to FPC Bryan on Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed. The arrival comes more than a year after a jury convicted Holmes on four felony counts of fraud and conspiracy in January 2022. She was sentenced to 11 years in November.
Holmes had originally been ordered to begin her prison sentence on April 27, but won a reprieve with a last-minute legal maneuver that gave her more time with her two young children. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila set Holmes’ revised prison-reporting date for May 30.
In a separate ruling, Davila also ordered that Holmes and Balwani pay a $452 million in restitution.
Attorneys representing Holmes did not immediately respond when contacted by The Associated Press for statement on Tuesday.
WHERE IS FEDERAL PRISON CAMP BRYAN?
FPC Bryan is located about 95 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Houston. The facility encompasses about 37 acres (15 hectares) of land.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, FPC Bryan is one of a handful of “minimum security” facilities of its kind across the nation.
WHO ELSE IS HELD IN FPC BRYAN?
About 650 women are housed in FPC Bryan — including “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennifer Shah, who was sentenced earlier this year to 6 1/2 years in prison for defrauding thousands of people in a yearslong telemarketing scam.
In addition to Shah, other recognizable figures who have served sentences at FPC Bryan in the past include former Enron executive Lea Fastow, participant in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack Jenna Ryan, and Michelle Janavs, heir to the Hot Pockets fortune and a former investment executive who participated in the college admissions scandal, according to The New York Times.
WHAT IS A MINIMUM-SECURITY PRISON LIKE?
Federal prison camps like FPC Bryan are minimum-security institutions. Most of those types of facilities don’t even have fences and hold inmates the Bureau of Prisons considers to be the lowest security risk.
The prison camps also often have minimal staffing and many of the people incarcerated there work at prison jobs. According to a 2016 FPC Bryan inmate handbook, those in the Texas facility who are eligible to work can earn between 12 cents and $1.15 per hour in their job assignments, which include food service roles and factory employment operated by Federal Prison Industries.
Federal prison camps were originally designed with low security to make operations easier and to allow inmates tasked with performing work at the prison to avoid repeatedly checking in and out of a main prison facility. But the lax security opened a gateway for contraband, such as drugs, cellphones and weapons. The limited security has also led to a number of escapes from prison camps.