Elizabeth Holmes' Ex-Boyfriend Sunny Balwani Sentenced to 13 Years for Theranos Fraud

"They misled investors, they misled patients," U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila said at Sunny Balwani's sentencing

In July, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was convicted of 12 counts of fraud for his role in Theranos, the Silicon Valley blood testing company that made false claims about its blood testing products. On Wednesday, in a San Jose, Calif., federal courtroom Balwani was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for his crimes, multiple outlets report.

"They misled investors, they misled patients,"U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila stated during the 58-year-old Balwani's sentencing, NBC News reports.

In a statement to CNN, Jeffrey Coopersmith, Balwani's attorney, said, "We are disappointed with the outcome. We respectfully disagree and plan to appeal."

In mid-November, Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos and Balwani's ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for her actions with Theranos.

Theranos was once valued at about $9 billion, and Holmes was named one of Forbes' richest women in America.

Balwani helped Holmes build and eventually run the company, working as an informal adviser in her young startup days. The couple dated for 10 years and Balwani eventually joined Theranos in a formal capacity, working as its president and COO, though the duo reportedly didn't advertise their romantic relationship around the office.

Court Hearing Held For Theranos Founder And Former President On Fraud Charges
Sunny Balwani leaving court in January 2019. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Theranos' executives made false claims that the company's technology could perform hundreds of medical tests with only a few drops of a patient's blood. These flashy statements attracted major financial investors like Walgreens and Safeway.

But Theranos began to fall apart after a damning expose was published in the Wall Street Journal in March 2015.

In June 2018, criminal charges were filed against Holmes and Balwani, and the company was dissolved in September 2018. The duo were charged with massive fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, accused of "raising more than $700 million from investors through an elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company's technology, business, and financial performance," according to an SEC press release at the time.

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Elizabeth Holmes. David Orrell/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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During her trial, defense attorneys for the 38-year-old Holmes tried to portray her as naïve, saying she didn't mean to defraud the company's investors.

Holmes testified in her own defense, saying her judgment was clouded at the times in question because of the alleged sexual, psychological and emotional abuse she endured during her relationship with Balwani. Balwani has denied the claims.

Theranos' dramatic downfall has inspired books, TV series, podcasts and more, including last year's Hulu miniseries The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as Balwani.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence will also portray Holmes in Bad Blood, an upcoming Will Ferrell-produced biopic, helmed by Adam McKay.

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