By the numbers, the court was probably quite lenient here. Not to say that's an unjust outcome; the "lenient" option for sentencing on serious federal felonies is still quite harsh.
I tracked down the prosecutor's sentencing memorandum; they asked for 15 years. So I guess maybe not that lenient.
The PSR (the court's own sentencing memorandum, which the prosecution and defense respond to) had Holmes at level 43. I hereby claim that I called this. :P
But the PSR looks at the guidelines level table, which suggests 960 months for level 43, and instead recommends 108 months. So the court imposed a sentence higher than the PSR, lower than the prosecution asked, and all parties asked for much lower than the guideline maximum for the level.
Later later edit
I'm doing the math wrong; the guidelines range at that level is 240 months per charge (usually served consecutively). Still much higher than the ultimate sentence.
* long history of family and social support (presumably predictive of lower risk of recidivism, higher cost to relations)
* "collateral punishments" (I think? this refers to civil cases)
* Holmes' personal experience with trauma.
So that's roughly how it works, I guess: you apply the guidelines to get a level, which gives you a maximum, and then you mitigate the maximum in a variety of ways.
To my knowledge, she has never even shown remorse or admitted to her crimes. Even her pre-sentencing statement showed no accountability or responsibility for her actions. She continues to paint Theranos as just a failed startup.
The impact of a mea culpa on sentencing would likely be minimal in the grand scheme of things. I think (for one) she's pathological - as I pointed out in another comment you'd have to be to screw over people like Henry Kissinger and four star Marine Corp general James Mattis who's nickname is actually "Mad Dog". Scary.
Secondly, her post-prison career opportunities are much better if she goes to her grave never admitting or acknowledging any fault or wrongdoing. She still has plenty of fans and true believers. I was interviewing an attorney (of all things) once and she said "All Elizabeth Holmes did was the same thing men do and get away with everyday". Needless to say I didn't hire her.
I don't know if there are any "Son of Sam" laws that apply here but I can definitely see her having a very prosperous career at 50 hitting the speaking circuit, book deal, podcast, whatever capitalizing in 2033 would look like.
I agree that relative to other sentences she does, but what does 11 years mean to you? It's everything to me. I cannot imagine giving up 11 years.
I think we throw around years like slaps on the wrist.
These and more actions of hers do make me personally feel okay with her sentencing, especially since she shows zero remorse. Her final words before sentencing were basically "I'm sorry I ran a failed startup".
I don't think 11 years is an unjust sentence for that.
So, I always wondered, if a lab technician needs a mere glance on the sales pitch to have doubts, how could investors miss it during even the most superficial due dilligence? Or did they catch it, and just say fuck it, we can still dump it through an IPO?
And those celebrities going on its board, was the money so good and the hype so blinding?
Investors losing their skin? That's all risk/reward. They took big risk for big reward but lost.
No, it's not OK and it's not all risk/reward. The risk is whether the product can succeed and be better than others' products/services - not whether the company you're investing in is a fraud - that's what the legal system tries to prevent.
Obviously I don’t condone her unhinged behavior of stalking and threatening whistleblowers, but that should not all amount to 11 years. It will absolutely make any similar startup too risky and they will not find any capital.
What I think in this case is that it's a pity that she wasn't prosecuted for threatening people's health with unreliable test results. They didn't "run out of runway" while in research mode: they were already selling a defective product that is safety-critical. Google Jean-Louis Gasse's piece on his personal experience with Theranos results. It was incredibly callous to gamble with people's lives that way. I do understand that it was easier to prosecute the financial crimes, but it's still unsatisfying that they were not held to account on those actions.
> I don’t think she was intentionally trying to defraud anyone
we very much disagree here.
In medicine you are indeed expected to stay in research mode forever until you have something that provably works. None of this is controversial or complicated.
I can't get too upset about the investors; they had the opportunity to do their own due diligence and chose not too.
She lied to patients, subverting systems meant to protect people against fraudulent medical care and faking blood test results. This wasn't a game. The punishment for cavalierly toying with people's health was far too lenient.
She earned 25 years or more not just on the merits, but as an example to the next person who decides to make money with fake medical treatments.
> After President Biden pardoned Americans convicted of federal marijuana possession last week, reform advocates praised his action as a “historic” step away from mass incarceration, while critics lamented it as another blow to public safety. The truth is somewhat less momentous: the pardons affect only about 6,500 people, none of whom is currently in prison
Statistically some of those consumers suffered worse outcomes and others died although the link between those outcomes and Theranos is hard to prove in the individual cases. If you throw bricks off of a skyscraper at the street below without looking you are trying to kill "people" even if you never saw any of your eventual victims. She is being punished for the financial aspect of the affair according to those standards but we shouldn't forget the other aspect.
If she was given one day for each person she defrauded of their health not their money she would be in prison for life which to my thinking is equitable. I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. 11 years isn't even enough.
Then don't commit one of the most notable frauds of the 21st century? It seems to me that avoiding this fate you so rightfully fear is incredibly simple and anybody who therefore fails to restrain themselves from doing so has earned every second of their sentence.
I generally agree, but when your fraud is in the hundreds of millions and billions range, well, that's more than most people will earn in a hundred lifetimes.
If you defraud 500K people of all their $2K in savings, then you deserve everything that’s coming to you.
Oddly enough I think the justice system is set up to function the other way around.
Yes. For corporate murder.
I wouldn't be surprised if her pregnancies were calculated to try to gain leniency. Otherwise it's pretty selfish to have kids knowing you could be in prison for most of their childhood.
So, yeah, under the First Step rules, Holmes might see a couple years chopped off that sentence.
I think it's unlikely she serves fewer than 6-7 years. It's a tough sentence!
I think it's unfair to draw attention to this particular decision that she has made as as callous or scheming when in reality there are already plenty of examples and her having children may have been the most human of them all.
When I read about Holmes in light of those posts, I'd say she is some sort of callous and insensitive person. She never once gave a shit about ethics, people's lives etc. Who knows she decided to have kids simply because it might reduce her sentence rather than because she really wanted to have kids like rest of us do.
It's an essential part of the system of checks and balances among the three branches of US government - it prevents the judicial branch from getting too much power compared to the executive branch.
People who are guilty of a crime and prosecuted fairly under the law should generally serve their sentence. Exceptions to that are best managed by an independent and transparent tribunal who can give principled reasons for commuting specific sentences, for example a prisoner serving a very long term has undergone a genuine moral transformation and is now safe to release, or changes in society have rendered prosecutions of a certain time and place anachronistic and unjust be modern standards.
Yes, such a system could be (and has been) abused, but given the power the judicial side has (and how that power has be abused) there has to be a system in place that checks the judicial system's power over individuals. This check prevents over-corruption in the judicial system to an extent. The point is to not allow any branch of government to gain too much power - a "separation of powers".
So many people are wrongfully convicted, either because the law is unjust (many drug laws from the 1990s, for example) or because the judicial system itself is so imperfect--from overzealous district attorneys who count their convictions as merit points (independently of the case merits) to the unjust plea bargain system to police investigators who extract false confessions.
Given some presidents have pardoned HUNDREDS of people this would imply there is a serious problem with the US justice system?
Thankfully a US president can exert his king-like authority and correct this judicial problem.
Question - Given the obvious flaws with the justice system how does one get the presidents attention to get a pardon?
Have you ever looked at the people who were pardoned and the crimes they committed?
Armed bank robbery, drugs, fraud, counterfeiting.
I don’t know that it’s that irresponsible given that her family is incredibly wealthy and she’ll be gone for a relatively short time in their childhood.
I mean I know it’s going to be unpopular to say but she’s a blonde-haired, pretty white girl from a wealthy family. I’m astounded it was as long as 11 years (really 3-5). I’m sure she is too, and I imagine it’ll be reduced further on appeal once Balwani has been painted as the criminal mastermind of the operation.
We’ll know better once we see what he gets, and what the justification is for that sentence.
She has a big, supportive family. Her kids will be fine. People write like the kid is going to be raised in a USP, like Bane from Batman.
They'll be fine. Lots and lots of kids have it actually hard, because their mom is sent away when they're 5 or 6. Here? No problem. I think she's a sociopath, but her family planning decision makes perfect sense, and the people writing comments about how callous or irresponsible she is are telling on themselves in a particular weird way.
My wife was forced down this route when diagnosed with cancer at 35 - the chemo and radiation killed all her eggs and forced her into a mandatory regime of chemically induced menopause. The presence of estrogen in her body is now a life threatening condition for the rest of her life.
We were able to freeze three embryos prior to starting treatment, and are considering surrogacy now.
Oh give me a fucking break. Every criminal has experience with trauma. This is the first time I've seen that brought up to justify a particular sentence.
Actually I guess they don’t even have to be white, just rich is probably enough.
Seriously as bad as that other paper saying we should probably let ourselves get robbed a bit more.
The article is mild proposals to rehabilitate, e.g. drug users.
I see the title as a rhetorical device.
> If we can’t close down women’s prisons, we can at least slow down their expansion.
Try the original article:
Given the nature of her crime, wouldn't strong unwavering familial and social support increase the risk of recidivism? Like, if she was guaranteed to be shunned by all, she would be at 0 risk of it.
By the way, the whole video is interesting.
For the jury it could factor in as part of the punishment. It would make concrete the fall from grace and signal a complete loss of hope of trying again. Ending up an Uber driver would also be a deterrent to white collar criminals who may not know what jail is like but do have an idea to what being an Uber driver is like. I think for some people they’d rather go to jail than risk that kind of humiliation. So punishment, prevention, and deterrence… might help.
IIRC she married a hotel heir. She's never going to have to work if she doesn't want to.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of this being a consideration. Someone had trauma in their life so they get a lenient sentence for defrauding people out of money?
Maybe this isn’t consistently applied across states and gender.
I’ve read pretty deeply into Theranos over the years and if anyone is to blame it’s some of the top level engineering/science/executive employees who knew it was bullshit but stuck around (even with the constant threats and intimidation by Sunny Balwani who IMO is even more guilty than Holmes).
Wealthy investors buying into something the media and half-interested retired Washington DC power players, sitting on countless boards, who care more about dinner parties than technology isn’t that surprising or malicious.
You can maybe blame our current credibility systems for pushing it (just like FTX) but at the same time this is a classic human flaw to join the crowd and seek validation from celebrity. The fact it was a giant loser is plenty of disincentive for those in the future. Plenty of those wealthy people lost big… it wasn’t regular joe holding the bag.
The sheen of the genius tech entrepreneur (in this case with the added phoney multiplier of female tech CEO) has taken a big hit in recent years.
What VCs and Washington DC investors/board members were directly complicit in covering up the fact the science was bullshit early on? Which whistleblowers were silenced or bullied by them?
You seem to know some juicy details I haven't heard about.
Maybe you mean Erika Cheung? She did indeed contact George Schultz (former Secretary of State, 95yrs old at the time of WSJ expose) after befriending Tyler Schultz (his nephew) who worked there and who was also critical in bringing down Theranos. There was no evidence George even replied to her email or tried to 'bully' her (from what I've read it was just ignored). Not long after she went to WSJ which is what took down Theranos. She's still friends with Tyler.
Sunny and Elizabeth heard from these employees that it wouldn't work. Then they kept pitching that it would work. Unfortunately our laws are such that the only prosecutable crimes in the Theranos case were for defrauding investors, and the only people guilty of defrauding investors were the ones who pitched to those investors.
And some of those scientists and engineers probably also suffered from wishful thinking that this might be a solvable problem. Wishful thinking is not a crime, pitching wishful thinking as already solved to investors is a crime.
That's why a lot of first-time petty criminals get light sentences (except when drugs are involved - mandatory minimums kick in) compared to the guidelines.
Gerry Cotton had far less money on the table and he supposedly died abroad.
Come on, this is a guy who had:
* A company with a constant revenue stream in a business that could be pretty much 100% automated.
* Backing from the largest investors and VC funds worldwide.
* Valuable connections with people higher up in academia and the prevailing political party in the US (all the way up to the president).
* All the money in the world and free reign over what to do with it.
* Unparalleled info and insights about the crypto markets.
* A massive group of followers that found his antics particularly alluring and who were trusting him with their money more and more everyday.
* A team of geniuses who were absolutes alphas from quantitative trading, won math olympiads and were constantly on drugs to enhance their cognition 1,000% (ok, this one's sarcasm)
Btw, does anyone know where the heck Elisson went? I haven't seen any articles specifying her current whereabouts.
I don’t have a source. I heard it in an interview with someone following the case.
Same can be said about people who gave them money. It's just retarded. The whole business went completely against the core purpose of cryptocurrency. Anyone who invested in him or had their money sitting on his exchange (or any bankrupt exchange) deserved to lose it. It's scary to think what damage large amounts of capital could do in the hands of such idiots; society is better off now.
Here is my story:
- I put $50k into FTX last year. The reason for putting the money into FTX was because it was the only large-scale platform that allowed me to trade the specific token that I wanted to trade.
- My investment proved to be more successful than I had anticipated, and I turned the initial investment into $600k by the end of last year.
- By the spring of this year, I had sold my entire position and was now sitting with $400k USD on FTX (as I didn't sell everything at the top).
- At that time, I attempted to withdraw the entire amount into my bank account, but immediately ran into issues with my bank.
- For background, I'm a dual citizen, originally from South America but now living in the US. As you may be aware, US citizens were not allowed to use FTX.com; hence I used my South American citizenship to get verified by FTX, with the condition that I could only withdraw to a South American bank in my name.
- I spent about 10-20 hours this spring attempting to make the withdrawal, which included dozens of phone calls and emails with my bank as well as the FTX support team, in order to execute the transaction. But the process turned out to be more complicated than I had expected.
- Full details are not necessary here as I wish to somewhat protect my identity, but it became clear to me that this process would be very difficult to complete unless I was physically present at the bank in South America.
- While I considered that keeping the money on FTX for a few more months was not risk-free, I deemed the risk relatively low. A part of that judgement was the fact that FTX was an exchange, and not a bank nor a prop-trading house, and thus I viewed the risk of a run on the bank scenario, or FTX speculating away my money in trading, as low.
- What instead worried me was that FTX could get hacked, or that the founders could take my money and run, but given the high-profile nature of the company and its founders, I made the call that keeping the money on FTX for a few more months was not an overwhelming risk factor.
- I also considered converting my money into BTC and transferring them to cold storage, but ended up not doing that as I worried about a crypto meltdown, and I reasoned that my money was safer sitting in USD at FTX (despite the aforementioned risks). I further reasoned, that given that the amount was already quite large, that it would be even harder to explain to a local bank where the money had come from once it had gone off an exchange and then come back on again.
- For all of these reasons, I decided to wait, and was planning to do the transfer in less than 2 months from today, once back in South America.
We obviously know what happened next, and we know that pretty much any other solution would have been better for me. But with the information available to me at the time, it wasn't obvious that what happened would happen. I believed I had reasoned appropriately about the risks and made the correct decisions at the time when I made them, with the information available at the time.
My point is that we don't know the stories behind why so many people kept their money on FTX. Perhaps some were more reckless than others, and perhaps someone reading this thinks that I was reckless too. But even so, in my view, none of us "deserved" to have this happen to us. So instead of vilifying the victims, the focus should be on holding the perpetrators responsible, while thinking of a better way forward so that this doesn't happen again. Thanks for reading.
I guess there is a lesson to be learned about investing in tokens which can only be acquired and disposed of on a single exchange; that is a bit of a red flag. Unfortunately, with crypto, it's better to be paranoid. Many governments and big banks don't want crypto to succeed so these kinds of major collapses are to be expected... I wouldn't be surprised if some of them may be orchestrated intentionally.
In my early conversations with my bank, they stated that among other things, they would need to see proof of where the funds had come from (proof of original $ deposit into FTX, FTX trading history, etc.), and I just assumed that sending the crypto to a different exchange would add another layer of complexity that would make that process much harder.
But perhaps I took an overly conservative (and now catastrophic) stance when trying to do everything as cleanly as possible.
I have a sneaking feeling your approach might have worked (or at least it's hard to imagine it being a worse outcome than what actually happened). I'm feeling pretty stupid now for not exploring this further. I guess I never expected FTX would just disappear, and so I didn't explore every option as fully as I should have. I appreciate your suggestion in any case.
And the comment around Coinbase also makes sense, though I suppose my exposure to that risk could have been minimized assuming the money would ideally only have been sitting there for a few days. In retrospect, I should have obviously attempted the Coinbase route.
The part that should be no problem is the American bank itself, if you ask first for instructions. Coinbase is a legit American entity. Procedure should be same as making large transfers or consolidations of IRAs or liquidating brokerage holdings to buy a house.
The money did arrive successfully by the way, but I just took away from that exercise that banks are really, really strict about money transfers and the origin of monies. This all has me thinking that getting crypto back into the banking system -- to the extent it's easy today -- might only get harder in the future.
My concern in this specific situation was greater around moving money from crypto -> bank, vs. bank -> bank. My general sense is that once the money is inside of the traditional banking system, it's less likely to face issues.
But coming to the bank with a wad of cash (or crypto), in my view, could trigger all kinds of issues (in theory at least).
Risk-aware people don't gamble more money than they want to lose. The moral assumption behind "blaming the victims" of crypto schemes is that their losses are little more than a reckoning of their optimism, ignorance and greed, not a tragic economical ruin.
> I turned the initial investment into $600k
If you call it an investment you weren't very risk-aware at the time.
Obviously one has to be careful which asset class one invests in. High yield bonds are riskier than investment grade bonds; equities are riskier than high yield bonds; bluechip crypto is riskier than equities, and speculative tokens are riskier than bluechip crypto. I think all that is understood, and I was well aware of that aspect of the risk. But an aggressive choice of asset class doesn't necessarily turn it into a gamble, so I reject the way you framed this as a "gamble".
The one thing I would consider a gamble was my "gamble" that FTX would not go under before I had a chance to take my money out. I think it's probably fair to call that a gamble, if that's what you are referring to.
In either case, it's interesting how humans tend to be a quite a compassionate species in face of adversity, and yet, this specific topic seems to trigger something in the human psyche that elicits vitriol and compassion in roughly equal amounts, even as many people are clearly facing adversity. I'm not judging that reaction, but I'm curious as to why it's happening.
Uniswap would allow you to trade any token that follows the ERC20 interface (not all of them do, but many). USDC would allow you to mitigate day to day price volatility. Non custodial wallet would mean the burden lies on you to secure the funds, but a CEX getting hacked or investing away your deposits is not possible. Self custody also means you could move some to another CEX in US to attempt withdrawal.
Also should note there are different and additional risks with this approach: you might lose your keys, get phished/hacked, or use the blockchain incorrectly, or USDC/Uniswap contracts could fail, etc.
Very sorry to hear about your situation.
I realize this wasn't evident from my initial post, but I actually go back many years with crypto and have run both airgapped computers at home as well as used Trezors without mistake (including using Uniswap), so I'm less worried about losing my keys or committing other such user errors.
Ironically, while I used to worry more about using CEX's (thinking they could hacked, or the founders could run away with the money), over time I gravitated towards worrying more about actually getting my crypto money back into the banking system, without running afoul of AML / KYC hurdles, and I thought CEX's would be the less risky option in this regard.
And in this case specifically, once the money on FTX became sizable, I became even more paranoid about this, and I guess I got set in my own thinking of not wanting the money to leave the exchange for fear of not being able to transfer it back into the banking system.
In retrospect, it's funny (and obviously sad at the same time) how I overly worried about one thing, while completely missing out on what the real risk was.
You all have been extremely helpful, so I thank you very much (and not least for allowing me to put some of my thoughts in writing and reasoning with you about it). We live and learn -- now onto figuring out how to make up for the money lost!
But I am genuinely much more curious around the human psyche in situations like these, and I'm seeking your thoughts if you would be kind enough to offer them since I think we are on different sides on this on, in this specific instance.
My experience with the human species is that they generally err on the side of compassion, vs. judgement, but less so in this case. If you could share your thoughts on what might drive the latter rather than former in this case, that would be highly appreciated.
On a personal note, and as I was clear to point out in the parent comment, I am not looking for any sympathy here, I'm a grown man and I am adept at handling adversity. But nor am I necessarily looking for vitriol unless there is a good reason for it. Your thoughts on this topic are appreciated.
I don't think extreme levels of greed deserves compassion. It's been more than 10+years. I can't have compassion for 20 years. People get tired man and don't care anymore and actually hope for the worst (but don't say it).
Out of curiosity, would you then apply the same logic to people investing in SPAC's, growth stocks at extreme valuation levels, triple leveraged ETF's, doubling down on NKLA when their trucks are shown to roll down hills, etc.? Or is it strictly confined to crypto? To me, these are all different manifestations of the same thing -- a decade of easy money, enabled by flawed monetary policy. An investor in my view can still be rational (not greedy) while still taking interest in such opportunities.
Also, what if this were only 5% of my portfolio (I'm not disclosing the actual %'age, but consider the 5% for argument's sake), would you still consider it an extreme level of greed?
I have my own views of what constitutes extreme greed, but that tends to have more to do with how certain individuals (in this case FTX's executives, but can also be applied obvious scams like OneCoin, and many other scenarios) illegally enrich themselves by exploiting regular people. That, to me, is true extreme greed.
Either way, I think your response is interesting and I appreciate the extra color.
Yes. I invest in leveraged etfs. You can't compare NKLA/crypto/SPACs with UPRO for example.
> would you still consider it an extreme level of greed?
I consider the whole crypto ecosystem. I mined bitcoin for some time when it was $300 and thought it was full ponzi even then.
Since both his hedge fund and exchange lost billions, I doubt it.
Except for going long in a bull market, was he ever successful in anything?
> * A team of geniuses who were absolutes alphas from quantitative trading, won math olympiads and were constantly on drugs to enhance their cognition 1,000% (Ok, this one's sarcasm)
Again, they've lost massive amounts of money trading.
If your strategy makes a lot of money for years, but then loses more than anything you've ever earned, it's a crappy strategy.
Depends who's money you're playing with. If you profit on the way up and only your customers lose on the way down. Then high-risk strategies are (unfortunately) always better.
My trading strategy has never made me billions nor lost billions. Yet I kinda feel like there's a solid possibility many of these fools will end up waaay better off than me. Assuming they can stay out of jail.
Plenty of people fuck up in similar or even better circumstances.
What amazes here is the sheer magnitude and low intellect. They did no accounting. They bought property in their own names out of company (customer) assets. He was still "trying to raise money" as of yesterday, in full denail.
This is not an excessively sophisticated criminal mind, he doesn't seem to understand why people would take issue with his actions.
edit: what I mean, trollishly, is that I expected more conscientiousness from a room of MIT quant types, even if business process and diligence was not in their wheelhouse.
That isn’t to say we should lock everyone who commits a serious crime up for life, just that there can be utility for seemingly excessively long sentences.
It’s really the ~5-10 year convictions that are over used IMO. I think we have lost sight of how large a penalty 3 years actually is.
I was more talking about cases like this where prosecutors sought 10 years for a protester getting excessively confrontational with police officers and now she is serving 4 years in prison: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/pregnant-black-activist-...
The jury acquitted Martin of inciting a riot and reached no verdict on whether she threatened officers’ lives. Her legal team was “elated” when jurors found her guilty only of breaching the peace, punishable by no more than a $500 fine and 30 days in jail, investigator Tony Kennedy recalled.
State law defines breachers of the peace as any disturbers, “dangerous and disorderly persons” or people who utter “menaces or threatening speeches.” But prosecutors presented the charge as a “high and aggravated” crime, which carries up to 10 years imprisonment. Rosado said Judge Kirk Griffin did not allow her to explain the distinction, and the possibility of a much stiffer penalty, to the jury.
I am not saying she does or doesn’t deserve to go to prison, I am more commenting on how the options go from 30 days to multiple years between the seemingly similar crimes.
That’s only if there is no rehabilitation. The US system seems to be focused solely/overtly on punishment, which obviously means that whoever got locked up hasn’t had their mental state improved during the time of their lockup.
There's also a phenomenon where gang bangers and the like "age out" — they just seem to stop. Unfortunately for many, this realization often occurs in the middle of a very lengthy sentence (they typically drop out, debrief, and enter protective custody).
Sadly, for many rehab isn't just a matter of wanting to do better. Very large numbers of the incarcerated can't do something as seemingly trivial as parse a bus schedule. Aside from undereducation, a fair amount are objectively unintelligent. When all you know is crime and you have a massive uphill battle just to be what many would consider a functional adult, recidivism seems inevitable for some. What makes it worse is that cultural reasons prevent many from reaching out for help while they're behind the wire. It's frankly sad to see, but we're getting better —the investments being made in tablets and the like will hopefully bear fruit in the coming years.
No I don't think you spent a day behind. If you were to, you wouldn't be merely pricing your life at $24k per day.
If I was facing a jail time, I would NOT have kids till there is clarity. But I guess that is the difference between me and …
Her children will live better lives than 99% of the children on the planet despite not having their mother present until their pre-teen years.
At some point in the desire to wellbeing ratio, that equation crosses the line into 'incredibly selfish'. Children aren't just trophies for their parents.
I think it's more likely she was worried she wouldn't still be able to have children by the time she got of prison. Probably a nebulous mixture of reasons, but I can't believe it's just a desperate ploy for leniency. It's not unusual for people to really want children, regardless of their circumstances.
(But I’ve never done time or really looked into it)
> Under United States federal law, prisoners serving more than one year in prison get 54 days a year of good time on the anniversary of each year they serve plus the pro rata good time applied to a partial year served at the end of their sentence, at the rate of 54 days per year.
I know it's not at all the same, but that's better than some vacation policies ...
There are no weekends where she's headed, though.
Shit, they sentenced her to 11 years at Twitter?
She could be pardoned.
Wow - that’s some high level not-giving-a-shit about other humans (the kids). Or even more cynical, sociopathically using kids/pregnancy to try to get a reduced sentence?
A pregnancy in jail would be adding a lot of trauma. Her health circumstances can take a turn for worse, there is a possibility of HIV and STD, and her health will not improve probably while in jail. After jail, she can be too older.
Is doable as long as she has a supportive partner and family. The baby would choose to be alive in any case. She is a grifter, but is also an human being and has the right to arrange her maternity in the best terms that she can afford.
How is it harsh to point out that this child will grow up almost to their teens without a mother around? Apparently because the child's mother wants to have a child naturally?
Sorry, but having a kid under conditions that will be pretty harmful to the kid's development just because you want to have a kid is selfish at best.
In this particular case I think the absence of the mother is a net positive for the child. Would you want to have been raised by Elizabeth Holmes?
This struck a nerve.
Maybe you've never experienced what it's like to wish to have never been born, but having fucked up parents makes it very likely for a person to end in a situation where they feel like that about their lives. I think that if your child feels like that even once, you've been wrong to be a parent. (I realize that's a pretty high bar and it's unreasonable to expect the majority people to live up to it. But that goes for any moral standard.)
Of course anyone who is born chooses to stay alive, that's hard-wired into our biology, but that's exactly the reason you have no right to make this argument. Of course every human being has the right to parenthood, but this does not automatically make it right from the perspective of the child. I wish more people understood that and did not see their children as property.
Since we obviously can't ask our children whether they want to be born, it's our responsibility to make that decision for them. Primary caretakers determine the initial psychological makeup of a person, and the sad truth is that a lot of people from all walks of life have children because of irresponsibility, desperation, or plain egotistical reasons. This is cruel and abusive.
Best of wishes to the kid. I hope it grows up to be a happy person. Since it'll grow up in an affluent environment removed from the hardships that most of the world faces every day, there's a chance that happens. But evil people having kids is just cruel to the kids. I'd wager that once she's out of the slammer she'll endeavour to either raise it to be a psychopath, or make its life hell until she's eroded its grip on reality.
I hope in the future people get a better grip on the ethics of creating a new human being, and what you just said is understood for the fallacious reasoning that it is.
Sure, you might say it wouldn't be the same child, but life is so chaotic that just from the random decisions you make, any potential child of yours changes wildly day-to-day anyway. That's a million potential children that would choose to be alive, in the time where you could have maybe one. So that's not enough justification. There are lots of good reasons to have children, but you need those reasons, not merely "would choose to be alive".
Sometimes one of our parents is not good. It happens all the time. Millions of children have one parent in jail. Is not their faults and we should still support them. They became pretty decent and sane adults still somehow, with a few scars and own problems, as every one of us, but totally functional socially and morally. Charlize Theron would be a good example.
Men had proven many times that we can take care of the children in a single-parent family also. I don't think that the children of Rick Moranis grow in a hapless family, or became bad people, psychotic, or play the bass in Satan Moranis band now.
In any case deciding to start a family when you're even potentially looking at 15 years in prison is a terrible move for these children - absent mother, the lifelong psychological damage of knowing or suspecting the reason for your existence may have been an attempt to manipulate the justice system, etc.
There were financial losses in this case but at this point the most seriously impacted victims of Elizabeth Holmes are her own children.
She's very intelligent and very calculating - she had to have considered these options. Instead (I'm pretty convinced) she saw an opportunity - however remote - that she could walk away from this thing by getting at least one juror to be reluctant to send a new mother/pregnant woman to prison.
This is, after all, the person that in the face of failure after failure (at best) held out for 15 years on the very tiny chance her concept could eventually maybe just maybe be viable some day (at best). Instead of facing it she's now convicted of fraud and going to prison.
The entire Theranos story is long-shots and Hail Mary's. I truly believe these pregnancies were yet another long-shot with herself and only herself in mind. But in this case it's not the lives of strangers making medical decisions with her shoddy product at risk, it's a lifelong disadvantaged start for her own children.
She is the epitome of narcissism and demonstrates it over and over again. If I really were her I would hope to eventually have the realization that I have some serious personality issues to work on and absent substantial progress on them I probably shouldn't be having kids in the first place. Maybe 11 years in prison will do just that but unfortunately for these kids the damage is already done.
If IVF doesn't work out for whatever reason there's adoption. Let's try to remember this fraud could have very well ended up killing people. Not being able to have biological children and adopting is minor by comparison.
Her life expectancy should take her well into her 80s, and, at the risk of turning this into a "boo-hoo session" my dad died when I was 26 and he was 61. So even after all of this she'd likely see her kids get married, have children, etc which is more than some people who didn't commit fraud and gamble with people's lives get.
The children here having resources helps, but having a mom + dad is important and there's pretty much no way around that.
It being her "last chance" doesn't excuse the behavior.
Participation on this thread has been interesting - you’re the first person I’ve seen to also share your own experience with how this will impact these children.
We’re disgusted because we know.
She has the resources to freeze eggs and do surrogate birth at 50. Or a private adoption (I doubt official channels like convicted felons). There are plenty of better, less selfish options than the one she chose. I haven't seen anyone arguing for the justice system to prevent someone from becoming a parent. If she started a family at any point in the 20 years prior to being indicted or after release from prison I'd wish her and her family all the best.
Instead (and I really try not to be cynical) this was all almost certainly orchestrated in an attempt to garner sympathy. I have to imagine a non-zero portion of the potential jury pool would (all things being equal) have some potential reluctance in sending a new mother/currently pregnant person to prison because some wealthy people got ripped off. Obviously that's not the way it went.
I really respect you but I'm having a hard time seeing this as anything else and I think we need to have more compassion for her children. They may end up just fine but they're getting a rough start to say the least.
To be absolutely clear - this isn't about her. Enough has been about her. This is about the ends she has gone to in this entire situation and the effect it will almost certainly have on these kids who don't deserve any of this.
I barely remember anything about being a 4th grader, for what it's worth. Their mom will very much be in their life.
It took years of psychologists telling me countless times that this childhood experience was very damaging for me and to finally acknowledge the effects continue into my life 38 years later. Having children immediately before going to prison for 11 years is emotional neglect at minimum - those were the words used to describe my childhood. I am "fine" but I can't help but think I'd be better off emotionally if I actually knew my parents growing up. You might not remember anything about being a fourth grader but if you can't tell by now I certainly do. When your childhood is spent with other kids having parents and you don't you remember.
I don't appreciate being told I'm "off the rails" or misogynistic. This isn't fan fiction - it was my life. I can't believe I have to say this but if Sunny pulled this stunt I'd be going just as hard at him.
Again, I've always respected you and still do but respectfully - you have no idea what you're talking about on this one.
Check your "I have a mother" privilege. /s
Fail to care for properly.
The state or fact of being uncared for.
No one in prison is participating in the care of their children. She is and will be neglecting them.
Is the dictionary fanfiction too?
The kids will have $, but there's way more to being raised than your wealth resources. Is there a mass ignorance of this on HN? Yay for having more potential (affluent) sociopaths released on the world I guess?
It's gross to me.
+1 for your other point here - great, so now we have the next crop of wealthy and potentially powerful people who will likely have some issues because of these conditions. Just what the world needs more of.
The rest I disagree with, though. Kids are resilient and don't need to be shielded from life. Dad isn't going anywhere, for one thing, and they have the option of seeing Mom if the family wants to do it that way. They'll be fine.
It bothers me for people who haven't experienced it to just say "oh they'll be fine". As I've said over and over again on this topic I'm "fine" but that needs to be quoted - I didn't want to acknowledge it for the longest time but it turns out those years can have a pretty significant impact on the rest of your life. My sister and I aren't "fine" the way most kids who grew up with their parents being at least somewhat around are fine.
Things happen - parents die, etc. What really boils my blood on this is she deliberately chose, for her own self interest, to put these kids on a similar path to the one I've lived. That's why I have such a visceral disgust for her and what she has done to these poor kids. I almost don't even care about the fraud and what she was convicted of but when those pregnancies happened my antennae went up.
I've seen too many of these kinds of discussions devolve into "my trauma can beat up your trauma", so won't offer my biography into evidence. Your experience is valid either way, and the details of mine aren't relevant other than to say there were no lasting effects.
No doubt some of how we turn out is the sculptor, and some is the clay.
Neglect is very bad. But neglect presumes facts not in evidence. I understand where your "visceral disgust" is coming from, but you are projecting, and you need to find a way to stop.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was “rough” but my sister and I have had some issues and needless to say the overwhelming opinion of mental health professionals we’ve both talked to is that our “unusual” childhoods are almost certainly a significant contributing factor to some of the lifelong struggles we’ve both had.
I responded elsewhere but being in prison with no ability to care for your children matches the literal dictionary definition of neglect. When the word neglect was first used to describe my childhood I dismissed it too. I mean, it’s not like I was going to school without shoes on, right?
Well it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Interesting you bring up projection - you are opining on a situation which you’ve made clear you have no knowledge or experience of. From what I’ve gathered you likely had a more stable and closer to “traditional” (whatever that means) childhood. That’s great but for you to say “I don’t even remember anything from fourth grade” because of your experience and graft it on to people that have or will have a dramatically different experience is pretty incredible and shows a real lack of empathy and compassion. To borrow from you, you need to find a way to stop.
Taking my personal experience out - do you truly and honestly believe that a (child) psychologist would look at this situation and say with the wave of a hand “Oh it’s fine, they’ll be fine”?
If you really do then unfortunately there’s just no point in continuing this discussion.
If you (in the future) ask these children I'm pretty darn sure that they would disagree that they would have been better off not existing.
But I guess that doesn't count because.. they're biased in favor of their own existence?
I'm only 30% trying to be sarcastic, and mostly trying to see if this kind of argument makes any kind of sense.
Or there's adoption of any number of real non-hypothetical already born children that will be around when she gets out at 50.
Happiness is preferable to suffering.
Suffering is a natural part of life. So is happiness.
Suffering is inevitable. Happiness is not.
For some people the happiness outweights the suffering.
It's not a given and you can't really know in advance, but I'm pretty damn sure that having a narcissistic psychopath for a mother tips the scale towards suffering.
Sometimes the happiness outweighs the suffering by such a large margin that you can't even imagine that for others it's the other way around. Maybe you become one of those people who put other people in literal cages "for their own good" - you can get involuntarily hospitalized for expressing doubts in the value of your own life, you know. Even if you're right. Especially if you can prove it.
So that biases the answer you'll get, on top of the natural bias towards self-preservation and reproduction. It still doesn't make it anywhere near truthful.
Ever look up the origins of the word "proletariat"? It literally means "breeders". It's the people who own nothing but their own lives, have no capital other than their time and body. We're selling our lives to the highest bidder out here, man. We're cattle.
Would you teach your kid to be aware of that predicament? No, you would teach them to avoid the subject entirely. For their own good, you see.
Many people are forced to be alive, and just rationalize around that to make the process of staying alive comparatively easier. You can probably imagine what reasoning around such traumatic cognitive dissonance for the sake of sheer self-preservation does to your overall cognitive abilities, and by extension to your ability to make the world a better place so people honestly want to stay in it.
We'll have to check back in 9.35 years to see if that part is accurate
I used to be a pretty damned good lawyer (if I do say so myself), but I never practiced federal criminal law, so I have to admit that was pure gut feeling and general lawyerly instincts. :)
I mean, the 9 served thing is a little easy, since it follows mechanically from the actual sentence (also, it'll be 10 served, not 9).
= 9.6 years (based on 54 days per year off for good behaviour)
This former federal prosecutor does not think so:
> Anyone who claims Holmes received more or less than what she was “supposed to get” does not understand federal sentencing. I served for almost seven years as a federal prosecutor, led dozens of sentencings and co-authored a nationwide guide to prosecutors on the topic, and I couldn’t predict with any confidence what sentence Holmes would receive.
> Indeed, 10 different federal judges would have likely imposed 10 different sentences on Holmes. That’s both a function of the general process and of Holmes’ particular case. She didn’t face a mandatory minimum sentence (meaning the judge was not required to impose a prison term), while her maximum sentence under the relevant statutes for her offense was 80 years (20 years for each of the four wire fraud counts of conviction).
> Common sense and a dose of perspective show that Holmes shouldn’t spend more than a decade in prison, let alone 15 years. [...] In other words, her crime was serious, but prosecutors can point to no dead body or even serious bodily injury, though the risk was real. [...] At this point the overriding question should be about the prospect of rehabilitation. Holmes can be a productive member of society. The judge, while not sentencing her to as much prison time as he could have, should have shown more leniency.
This seems a bit weird to me.
If one engages in behavior that creates real bodily risk for people, that ought to be the crime. The probability of injury that was created, not the outcome. If it just so happens that the dice landed in a way that didn’t harm anyone, that doesn’t tell us anything about her intention, how dangerous it is to have her out in society.
Especially for white collar crimes, where the execution of the risk is often set up in such a manner that the perpetrator isn’t there for the injury. If somebody breaks into a gas station and tries to rob the place with a weapon, but at the critical moment doesn’t actually hurt anyone, that’s still obviously very serious, but we can infer that they have some little bit of conscience that spoke up when it was most needed. Not so for the person who set up a dangerous abstract process that just happened to not hurt anyone by coincidence.
White collar crime should be punished to the utmost degree. These are usually people that had everything given to them to live a legitimate, educated, and safe life, and they blew it all due to greed and ego. Most non- “white collar” criminals didn’t have that chance to start with. And white collar crime usually affects a multitude of people over periods of years. It’s not like most other crimes that happen on much smaller timescales with a lot more emotion involved. White collar crime usually means someone is waking up every day for years saying “yep, I’m still gonna keep doing this”.
She's not just a random entreprenuer. Medical startups need to be held to a higher standard than average tech companies and the punishment for fraud that puts patients at risk should be as harsh as possible.
- wire fraud (3 counts): 7
- victims (10+): 2
- damages ($140M): 24 (!!)
- sophisticated means: 2
- leading role: 4
- abuse of public trust: 2
- obstruction of justice: 2
And here's the chart. Even for first time offenders, penalty can be life.
Mandatory minimums are obviously a different story.
If someone told me I was going to jail for a a week, it would be bad.
I’d someone told me I was having a week added to my 10 year sentence, I’m not sure if care that much.
This appears to be a very ruthless hatchet job. It appears the elites set a trap and imploded her company. It appears her chief scientist Ian Gibbons was poisoned. The media said he died of suicide by tylenol poisoning. Very odd because that’s the worst way to go and Ian was a distinguished engineer and scientist who had his choice of where he wanted to work.
No one wants to talk about the board of directors either, given that these people were so well known and influential this seems… odd.
All her patents were gobbled up by the investors and her company imploded right before covid19 hit.
Even if her machines were only half functioning it would have been nice to have them on every walgreens and walmart in the age of a pandemic.
I feel very sorry for her. I’m probably the only one who thinks she’s a victim here. She tried to make the world a better place and give you access to your own health information. And because she made so mis statements that is typical of a “fake it till you make it” she now has to rot in prison and her children have to go without a mother.
I find this absolutely disgraceful. She would not have been so hyped if it weren’t for the media. They will of course never face any consequences. They get off scott free to pump and dump the next victim.
When do we break this cycle?