Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of disgraced biotech company Theranos, bought a one-way ticket to Mexico shortly after being convicted of fraud last January, according to a filing Thursday.
Holmes was found guilty of four counts of lying to investors on January 28. 3, 2022. Shortly after, federal prosecutors allege in the filing that Holmes purchased a flight to Mexico departing Jan. 1. 26 2022 with no round trip planned. The US government became aware of the reservation on January 1. 23, 2022.
“It was only after the government raised this unauthorized flight with the defense attorney that the trip was canceled,” prosecutors said.
Thursday’s filing came as part of the government’s opposition to Holmes’ motion for release from custody pending appeal of his conviction; in November, a judge sentenced Holmes to more than 11 years in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila ordered Holmes into custody by April 27. It has not yet been determined where she would serve her sentence, but Davila recommended a minimum-security prison camp in Texas.
Holmes’ partner William Evans also purchased a one-way ticket “and did not return until about six weeks later, returning from another continent”, prosecutors said.
“The government anticipates that (Holmes) will note in response that she did not in fact leave the country as planned, but it is difficult to know for certain what (Holmes) would have done had the government not intervened” , prosecutors said.
Prosecutors also allege that Holmes retains access to vast financial resources.
“(Holmes) has lived in a property for over a year where, based on the monthly cash flow statement (Holmes) provided to the US Probation Office, monthly expenses exceed $13,000 per month,” they wrote. .
They further note that a judge found that Holmes “never fully appreciated that [s]he would be incarcerated” on the basis of “ill-founded hopes that the Court would give [her] a suspended sentence. Moreover, Holmes did not “demonstrate . . . in [her] words or manners, a true acceptance of what [s]he stole a large sum of money [investors] by lying and falsifying documents,” prosecutors say.
They therefore vehemently oppose any release.
“At the same time, when his motivation to flee has never been higher, (Holmes) asked the Court to relax restrictions on his travels, allowing him to travel outside the Northern District of California and may -being completely out of state” due to the employment of his significant other.
The United States has maintained bilateral extradition treaties with Mexico dating back to the 19th century – perhaps contrary to the belief that crossing the southern border guarantees freedom. Since 2005, Mexico has deported between 150 and 200 fugitives to face charges in the United States, according to the US State Department.
In a stark example, Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, convicted of disability and insurance fraud in 2013, was apprehended in Mexico six months after an account in her name tweeted, “Catch me if you can “.
The US Marshals Service is the primary agency designated to track fugitives. In addition to maintaining an office in Mexico, the USMS works closely with law enforcement agencies along Mexico’s and Canada’s borders and with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
A lawyer for Holmes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.