Elizabeth Holmes offers business classes to Texas prison inmates

Real Housewives Jane Shah (left) and Theranos businesswoman Elizabeth Holmes (right).
Seth Small, Jeff Chiu/AP

  • Elizabeth Holmes is staying in the same prison camp as Real Housewives star Jane Shah.
  • A Texas prison for women offers trade skills classes to all inmates.
  • Both Holmes and Shah were convicted of fraud in connection with their business activities.

Elizabeth Holmes is about to begin an 11-year prison sentence for fraud related to her botched blood-testing operation at a Texas prison camp, where she ironically gives business lessons to inmates, according to the Prisoner Orientation Handbook.

Holmes was convicted in November 2022 of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a jury said she defrauded investors in her health technology company Theranos. On Tuesday, a judge denied Holmes’ request to stay behind bars while she appeals her conviction.

She was later charged with white-collar crimes in Bryan, Texas, and was assigned to serve time at a federal prison camp, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Jane Shah, one of the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” is serving a 6 ½-year sentence three months ago after pleading guilty to wire fraud related to telemarketing. Fraud targeting elderly victims.

According to the prison handbook, all inmates are required to hold a job for at least 90 days. The prisoners were given opportunities to take tests that determined whether they were skilled in fields such as business or clerical work.

Based on those skills, prison management assigns the inmates to work in factories, where they earn pennies an hour to hone those skills. These inmates must shadow a more experienced worker to learn how to operate machinery or complete data entry tasks.

However, the guidelines state that inmates – including the former billionaire businesswoman – cannot start or run their own businesses while in a federal prison camp.

Holmes spends her time in prison making her bed in the wee hours of the morning, putting up with multiple heads during the day, cleaning the floors, keeping her cell clean, taking out the trash, and facing random raids on contraband. Her schedule is strictly controlled, and she is only allowed to move around the prison at certain times.

It’s not all bad, though: The prison offers health education, arts and crafts, and recreational programs.

Criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis told Bloomberg in November that compared to other prisons, FPC Bryan is “heaven.”

“If you have to go, it’s a good place to go,” Ellis told Bloomberg.

Holmes’ attorney and Shah’s representatives did not immediately respond to internal requests for comment.

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