Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former president of failed blood-testing company Theranos, was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in prison on charges of defrauding investors and patients of the blood testing startup led by Elizabeth Holmes.
Prosecutors said that the 57-year-old conspired with Holmes, with whom he was romantically involved, to deceive Silicon Valley investors.
“They misled investors, they misled patients,” US District Court Judge Edward Davila said during Balwani’s sentencing hearing in San Jose, California, according to NBC News.
His sentencing comes less than three weeks after Holmes received a prison sentence of 11 years and three months that’s scheduled to begin in April.
Holmes was indicted alongside Balwani in 2018.
Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, who was the chief operating officer of the once valued at $9 billion company, is said to have an estimated net worth of $85 million as of 2022, according to multiple net worth reports. However, the net worth figure cannot be independently verified.
Balwani, who was born in Sindh, Pakistan, joined Theranos in 2009. He was married to Japanese artist Keiko Fujimoto. The duo lived in San Francisco before their divorce in December 2002.
Balwani was in a romantic relationship with Holmes during his tenure at Theranos. Balwani, who was 37 at the time, met Holmes, who was 18 and in her senior year of high school. Their relationship was not disclosed to their Theranos investors.
Balwani and Holmes relationship was documented in the 2022 miniseries The Dropout. Balwani was portrayed by Naveen Andrews.
During her trial, Holmes claimed that her relationship with Balwani lasted more than a decade. She said that he was very controlling and had sexually abused her.
In her court testimony, Holmes stated that Balwani wanted to “kill the person” she was and make her into a “new Elizabeth.”
In court filings, Balwani and his ex-wife Fujimoto denied abuse allegations, calling them “false and inflammatory.”