The luxurious life former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes once knew is officially coming to an end now that she has been ordered to report to prison on May 30.
In April, in a last-ditch attempt to avoid prison time, she asked the ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals to pause her sentence, two days before she was due to report to prison, as reported by The Guardian.
The court denied her bail application and Holmes is expected to serve her 11-year sentence at Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. She has two young children – a boy, William, born in 2021, and a girl, Invicta, born in February 2023.
Once hailed as the “next Steve Jobs”, Holmes raised millions of dollars from high-profile investors including media mogul Rupert Murdoch to fund her start-up, Theranos.
In 2015, The Wall Street Journal released a series of damning exposés around the company, which triggered Theranos’ downfall. It was revealed that Holmes and other executives had lied about their revolutionary new technology which purported to run numerous medical tests from just a few drops of blood. By 2018, the company that Holmes had founded had collapsed, the BBC reported.
Holmes has also been ordered to pay US$452 million to the victims of her fraud. Her former lover and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, 57, started serving a 13-year prison sentence in April, according to The Guardian.
Swapping out private jets and her signature green smoothies for prison-regulation clothing and food cooked for more than 500 people – here’s a glimpse into what Holmes can expect from her new life …
Holmes, 39, is widely expected to serve her prison time at the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. The facility is popularly known as FPC Bryan and sits on 15 hectares (37 acres) of land. Us Weekly reports FPC is 160km northeast of Austin and 160km northwest of Houston.
According to the BBC, there are more than 500 inmates at the prison, most of whom are serving time for white-collar crimes and non-violent offences. The capacity of the all-female prison is 747 inmates.
According to an inmate handbook, Holmes will be given clothing according to prison regulations. The handbook states that inmates must make their own beds and sweep and mop their own floors. The former Theranos boss will also have limited access to magazines, letters, books and newspapers. BBC reports Holmes may also have roommates, as inmates are housed in dormitory-style two-person bunk beds and four-to-eight person cubicles.
A new way of life
Besides the vast restrictions on her way of life, Holmes will also have a forced routine. According to the handbook, life at FPC Bryan is focused on work and extracurricular programmes. All inmates are expected to work and they can earn between US$0.12 and US$1.15 an hour for their jobs, which can range from food services to factory work, per BBC.
The handbook states that inmates can take business skills and foreign language classes, watch TV during allocated periods and attend religious services. While Holmes is allowed visitors during weekends and holidays, she will have limited physical contact with them. Failure to adhere to the rules results in disciplinary action. Violation of rules includes missing wake-up times, not making beds or failing to keep cells tidy.
A fine-tuned routine
Us Weekly reports that after wake-up at 6am, there are official counts at 4:05pm and 10pm on weekdays. At these times, prisoners must stand beside their beds. There is a third count on weekends and holidays at 10am.
Breakfast is served between 6:30am and 7:15am on weekdays and between 7am and 8am on weekends and holidays. Dinner is always served between 4:40pm and 5:30pm. During the evening meal, inmates are allowed to go to the recreation yard, indoor recreation area or chapel until 8:45pm. There is a strict lights-out time at 10:30pm on weekdays and 11:30pm on weekends and holidays.
A celeb cellmate
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah is also serving her jail time at FPC Bryan. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud in July 2022 and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, per People. According to court prosecutors, the reality star scammed hundreds of victims, mainly the elderly, in a widespread telemarketing scheme.
Shah’s sentence was reduced by a year after she started serving time. According to Page Six, Shah has started working on a play called The Real Housewives of Bryan inspired by her time in prison.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.