The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has excluded imprisoned Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes from participating in federal healthcare programs in the U.S. for the remainder of her lifetime, even if she may be released from prison early.
In May 2023, Holmes was sentenced to 11 years in a U.S. federal prison and ordered to pay more than $452 million in restitution for her role in a massive healthcare fraud. Under Holmes' direction, Theranos claimed to have developed lab testing technology that was able to run several clinical diagnostic tests on finger prick blood drops instead of larger samples pulled from blood draws. During her trial, the U.S. government presented evidence that Holmes knew the Theranos device didn't work, and her false claims about it induced millions of dollars in investments, according to the OIG statement. She was convicted in January 2022.
In the announcement, the OIG explained that the statutory minimum for an exclusion based on convictions like Holmes' is five years. However, in Holmes' case the length will be 90 years due to certain aggravating factors, including the length of time the acts were committed, her prison sentence, and the amount of restitution ordered to be paid. HHS-OIG previously excluded Theranos President Ramesh Balwami for 90 years as well.