Theranos scandal real estate: Here’s where Elizabeth Holmes calls home
It’s a fascinating time for those who have followed the rise and fall of Theranos, a now discredited blood testing startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes.
Opening arguments are due to begin for the criminal fraud trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, ex-lover of Holmes and former president and chief operating officer of Theranos. Balwani recently sold the Silicon Valley mansion he and Holmes lived together for five years.
Additionally, the limited series “The Dropout,” which tells the story of Theranos’ extinction, is streaming on Hulu, starring a deep-voiced Amanda Seyfried as Holmes.
The buzz around Theranos is strong again, and it’s got us curious about the real estate surrounding its masterminds. Where did Holmes and Balwani hide while hiding their romance from the world? What is Holmes’ current living situation as she awaits sentencing for her four fraud convictions?
It all happened in the San Francisco Bay Area, so let’s head west and take a look at where Theranos’ most notorious characters dwell.
Atherton, California, mansion
In 2014, Theranos’ valuation rose to $9 billion, and on paper, Holmes’ net worth rose to $4.5 billion. But a year before she became (briefly) the world’s youngest self-made billionaire woman, she invested in swanky real estate with Balwani.
The underground couple paid $9 million for a French provincial pad in Atherton, an ultra-rich Silicon Valley enclave. They made the purchase through their HMFR LLC. At the time, Holmes was CEO of Theranos while Balwani was president and chief operating officer.
The five bed, 5.5 bath mansion was built in 1936 and is very private with a gated entrance and large trees throughout the property. Reminiscent of a European country mansion, the 6,800 square foot main house sits on 1.16 acres of land filled with gardens, a swimming pool and a pavilion.
Things started to go downhill for Theranos in 2015 when the US Food and Drug Administration began investigating the company and the Wall Street Journal published a series exposing shortcomings in the company’s blood testing technology. . The following year, Balwani left Theranos and the company closed its medical laboratory operations.
In 2018, Holmes and Balwani landed in a world of legal trouble: The Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges of civil securities fraud, and Holmes and Balwani were charged with criminal fraud by the Justice Department. That same year, Balwani bought out Holmes’ 50% stake in HMFR LLC for $7.9 million and became the sole owner of the Atherton mansion. It is not known if he resided there from that time.
Balwani sold the home for $15.8 million in January 2022. He is currently on trial on fraud charges related to deceiving Theranos customers and investors.
Apartment in San Fransisco
At some point in the past five years, Holmes downsized his suburban palace to a more modest apartment in San Francisco. In 2017, she met her current partner, hotel heir William “Billy” Evans. At one point in their relationship, Holmes and Evans lived in the Lombard Place apartment in the Russian Hill neighborhood.
It’s unclear how long they rented the apartment, but they moved out around April 2019, according to CNBC.
The two-bed, two-bathroom apartment is quite a distance from the mansion that Holmes once co-owned, but by normal standards it appears to be well-appointed. The shoebox-sized kitchen might be a turnoff, but the real selling point is the gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.
We can’t say for sure how much Holmes and Evans paid to rent this place, but it was previously available at $5,395 per month.
Woodside, California, Estate
Holmes’ trial began in September 2021 and on January 3, 2022, she was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. During the trial, Holmes and Evans lived together at the $135 million Green Gables estate in Woodside, California.
We may never know how Holmes managed to get locked into another lavish living situation. But the location of the couple’s historic home was made public after Evans received a traffic ticket in March 2021 for failing to display a license plate, according to San Mateo County court records.
Green Gables, also known as Fleishhacker Estate, was built in 1911 by Mortimer Fleishhacker, a San Francisco businessman. The 74-acre estate has seven residences: a 10,000 square foot main house and six additional smaller houses. Holmes and Evans would have stayed in one of these more modest houses.
The Fleishhacker family held ownership of Green Gables for 110 years, but they decided to sell it several years ago. They initially listed it without a price, but didn’t get a good offer. The property returned to the market in February 2021 for $135 million. The list expired in early March.
Holmes’ sentencing is scheduled for September and she faces up to 20 years in prison. So if she still lives in Green Gables, she better enjoy it while she can.