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Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes reports to prison to serve her 11-year sentence for fraud

Elizabeth Holmes begins 11-year prison sentence
Elizabeth Holmes begins 11-year prison sentence 01:59

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was taken into custody Tuesday to begin serving her 11-year sentence at a Texas prison for swindling investors of hundreds of millions of dollars and lying about her biotech company's blood-testing technology.

Holmes, 39, will be incarcerated in a minimum-security women's prison camp in Bryan, Texas, located about 95 miles northwest of Houston, where she grew up aspiring to become a technology visionary along the lines of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. She leaves behind a nearly 2-year-old son, who was born weeks before the start of her trial, and a 3-month-old daughter, who was conceived after her conviction in November of 2022.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, 39, will be incarcerated in a minimum-security women's prison camp in Bryan, Texas, located about 95 miles northwest of Houston. Reuters

FPC Bryan encompasses about 37 acres of land and houses roughly 700 women, 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 telemarketing scam.

Others who have previously served time at the prison include former former Enron executive Lea Fastow; Jenna Ryan, a participant in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack; 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.

Shared cells and job assignments 

Most federal prison camps don't even have fences and house those 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.

The Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas,  where Theranos' founder Elizabeth Holmes will serve her prison sentence.  MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images

Holmes could share a cell with as many as three other inmates. The cells have two bunk beds with mattresses "about as thick as the width of a hand," inmates told the publication. Inmates have access to a recreation facility, jogging track and can watch television or read books in their spare time, the Journal reported. All inmates must return to their cells by an 8 p.m. curfew. 

The former executive will be able to receive visits from her family at the facility, where there are spaces for children to play and host family gatherings, the Wall Street Journal reported. Holmes will be permitted to hold her children in her lap and breastfeed her newborn daughter, according to Bureau of Prisons policies.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes begins serving prison sentence
An aerial view shows the federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas, where Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes on Tuesday, May, 30, 2023, started serving her 11-year sentence for defrauding investors in the failed blood-testing startup. GO NAKAMURA / REUTERS

It's unknown if Holmes will serve the entirety of her sentence at the Bryan facility, and it's possible she could leave the camp before then through an early-release program. Federal inmates can have their sentences reduced by participating in certain prison programs or earning rewards for good behavior, according to the Office of Justice

Holmes' arrival at the facility comes after Holmes fought to remain out of the prison system while she appealed her conviction. But that bid was rejected by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over her trial, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, leaving her no other avenue left to follow but the one that will take her to prison nearly 20 years after she founded Theranos.

The Associated Press contributed reporting. 

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