It’s a fascinating time for those who have been following the rise and fall of Theranos, a now-discredited blood-testing startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin for the criminal fraud trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, Holmes’ ex-lover and former president and chief operating officer of Theranos. Balwani recently sold the Silicon Valley mansion he and Holmes inhabited together for five years.
Also, the limited series “The Dropout,” which tells the tale of Theranos’ flameout, is airing on Hulu, starring a deep-voiced Amanda Seyfried as Holmes.
The buzz about Theranos is strong once again, and that made us curious about the real estate surrounding its masterminds. Where did Holmes and Balwani shack up while concealing their romance from the world? What is Holmes’ current living situation as she awaits sentencing for her four guilty verdicts of fraud?
It all went down in the San Francisco Bay Area, so let’s head west and take a look at the places Theranos’ most notorious characters call home.
Atherton, CA, 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 (briefly) became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, she invested in seriously swanky real estate with Balwani.
The clandestine couple paid $9 million for a French provincial pad in Atherton, an über-wealthy enclave in Silicon Valley. They made the purchase through their HMFR LLC. At the time, Holmes was CEO of Theranos while Balwani was serving as president and chief operating officer.
The five-bed, 5.5-bath mansion was built in 1936 and is plenty private thanks to a gated entrance and tall trees throughout the property. Reminiscent of a European country manor, the 6,800-square-foot main house sits on a 1.16-acre lot filled with gardens, a pool, and a pavilion.
Things started to go downhill for Theranos in 2015 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began investigating the company and the Wall Street Journal published a series exposing the deficiencies with the company’s blood-testing technology. The following year, Balwani left Theranos and the company closed its medical lab operations.
In 2018, Holmes and Balwani landed in a world of legal trouble: The Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil securities fraud charges, and Holmes and Balwani were indicted on criminal fraud charges by the Department of Justice. That same year, Balwani bought out Holmes’ 50% stake in the HMFR LLC for $7.9 million and became the sole owner of the Atherton mansion. It’s unknown if he resided there from this point on.
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.
San Francisco apartment
At some point in the past five years, Holmes downsized from her suburban palace to a more humble apartment in San Francisco. In 2017, she met her current partner, hotel heir William “Billy” Evans. At some point in their relationship, Holmes and Evans lived in the Lombard Place apartment in the Russian Hill neighborhood.
It is unknown how long they rented the apartment, but they moved out around April 2019, according to CNBC.
The two-bed, two-bath apartment is quite a step down from the mansion Holmes once co-owned, but by normal standards, it seems to be well-appointed. The shoebox-size kitchen may be a turnoff, but the real selling point is the gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the 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 a month.
Woodside, CA, estate
Holmes’ trial began in September 2021, and on Jan. 3, 2022, she was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. During the trial, Holmes and Evans were living together at the $135 million Green Gables estate in Woodside, CA.
We may never know how Holmes managed to find herself holed up in yet another palatial living situation. But the location of the couple’s historic home was made public after Evans received a traffic citation in March 2021 for failure to display a license plate, according to San Mateo County court records.
Green Gables, also known as the 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 homes that are more modest in size. Holmes and Evans were reportedly staying in one of these more modest homes.
The Fleishhacker family has retained 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 receive a worthwhile offer. The property went back on the market in February 2021 for $135 million. The listing expired in early March.
Holmes’ sentencing is scheduled for September, and she faces up to 20 years in prison. So if she is still living in Green Gables, she’d better enjoy it while she can.