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Elizabeth Holmes went to Burning Man, torched an effigy for Theranos, then spent 6 months living in an RV while prosecutors built a case against her for fraudulent business practices

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on November 18, 2022 in San Jose, California. Holmes appeared in federal court for sentencing after being convicted of four counts of fraud for allegedly engaging in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors in her company Theranos, which offered blood testing lab services. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes on November 18, 2022 in San Jose, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • In her first interview since 2016, Elizabeth Holmes told NYT her perspective on her fraudulent business.
  • Once the company dissolved, she burned an effigy for Theranos, then lived in an RV for six months.
  • The former CEO said she experienced “an incredible sense of grief” over her business failings.

You became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire based on your fraudulent blood-testing business venture, only to have your house of cards collapse. You are facing prison. What do you do?

You go to Burning Man.

At least, that was the solution for Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, who is facing down 11 years of confinement after being convicted of three charges of wire fraud and one conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge. Holmes spoke to The New York Times about her looming prison term in her first interview since 2016.

In 2018, after Theranos failed to live up to Holmes’ promises and she was discovered defrauding investors out of more than $100 million and a grand jury indicted her on 11 counts of wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, related to her business operations, her impulse was to visit the bougie desert gathering known for its massive immersive art installations, drug use, and $100,000-a-ticket camps with chef-prepared food and luxury accommodations.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 05: Elizabeth Holmes, Founder & CEO of Theranos speaks at Forbes Under 30 Summit at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 5, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images)Holmes speaks at Forbes Under 30 Summit at Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2015

Lisa Lake/Getty Images

“There was an incredible sense of grief because I’d given everything to it, my whole life, since I’d been 18,” Holmes told the Times about the period after Theranos dissolved. 

A lawyer for Holmes did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

At Burning Man, Holmes told the outlet she and her partner Billy Evans torched an effigy for the failed business and, as prosecutors began building their case against her, embarked on six months of traveling the country by RV.

During that time, the pair parked in shopping center lots and campgrounds while Holmes worked on her legal defense between hikes and outdoor yoga sessions.

“Even though that period was a crisis and Theranos was my life and like my child, I gave everything I had to it,” Holmes told The New York Times. Once it was gone, she added, “I also became free.”

Holmes continues to try to stave off her 11-year sentence, most recently appealing a judge’s refusal to allow her to remain free while she appeals her conviction.

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani — Theranos’ former president and COO, as well as Holmes’ ex-boyfriend and co-defendant in their trial — successfully used the same tactic to delay his prison reporting date by about a month.

He ultimately reported to prison in April to begin serving his 13-year sentence

Read the original article on Business Insider