Former Theranos Executive Denied Request to Delay Prison Sentence During Appeal

Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani has been denied his request to delay serving his 12-year and nine-month prison sentence until his appeal is decided.[0] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected Balwani's motion, stating that he had not raised a “substantial question” of law or fact that is “fairly debatable” and that any errors in the trial were not likely to result in reversal or a prison sentence that would be shorter than the time it takes for the appeal to play out.[1]

Balwani was convicted of 12 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy, making false statements to investors and patients about the company's fingerstick blood-testing technology.[2] Following the trial, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced him to the aforementioned prison term.

Balwani's lawyers had filed an emergency motion to the Ninth Circuit, which automatically suspended his reporting date set for March 16.[2] Later that evening, they filed a motion with Davila to set a new reporting date of April 20, stating that their client needs time to get his “affairs in order.”[2]

Balwani's co-conspirator and former lover, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, has also filed a motion to delay the start of her prison term, currently set to begin on April 27.[2] A decision on that motion is expected from Davila in April.[3] Should the judge deny the motion, Holmes can seek an emergency order from the 9th Circuit that would delay her surrender date while the higher court decides if bail is appropriate.[4]

Despite this setback, Balwani's legal team may still pursue an emergency order from the 9th Circuit to delay his surrender date. However, the court's ruling suggests that they will have a difficult time convincing the higher court that Balwani's conviction is likely to be overturned.[2]

0. “Balwani Can't Dodge Prison Pending Appeal, 9th Circ. Says” Law360, 7 Apr. 2023,

1. “Ex-Theranos executive headed to prison after losing appeal” WFMJ, 7 Apr. 2023,

2. “9th Circuit rejects bid by convicted Theranos exec Balwani to delay prison” msnNOW, 7 Apr. 2023,

3. “Appeals court rejects bid by convicted Theranos exec Balwani to delay prison” Mountain View Voice, 7 Apr. 2023,

4. “Appeals Court rejects ex-Theranos exec Sunny Balwani's plea to delay imprisonment” CBS News, 7 Apr. 2023,

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