New York, Dec 8 (IANS) Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, former president of the US-based blood-testing company Theranos, has been sentenced to almost 13 years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding investors and endangering patients.
Balwani will have to surrender to custody on March 15, 2023 for 155 months, or just under 13 years, in prison, reports The New York Times.
Last month, Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos and Balwani’s business partner, was sentenced to 135 months, or over 11 years, in prison.
Holmes was convicted for persuading investors that she had developed a revolutionary medical device before the company flamed out after an investigation.
Balwani in July this year was found guilty in a separate trial of 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Unlike Holmes, Balwani was found to have misled both investors and patients.
According to the US Department of Justice, Balwani, 57, was employed at Theranos from September 2009 through July 2016.
While employed with Theranos, Balwani worked for the company in several capacities, including as a member of the company’s board of directors, as its president, and as its chief operating officer.
At trial, the government submitted evidence that while at Theranos, Balwani conspired to commit wire fraud against investors between 2010 and 2015, conspired to commit wire fraud between 2013 and 2016 against patients who paid for Theranos’ blood testing services, and that he committed wire fraud against investors and patients.
Evidence showed that Balwani represented to investors that Theranos would generate over $100 million in revenues and break even in 2014 and that Theranos expected to generate approximately $1 billion in revenues in 2015.
“In truth, Theranos resorted to using conventional machines bought from third parties to perform much of Theranos’s blood testing and Balwani knew Theranos would generate only negligible or modest revenues in 2014 and 2015,” according to the Justice Department.