The American Greed episode ‘Medical Gloves with Holes’ tells the story of Deepal Wannakuwatte. The Sacramento, California businessman operated a $230 million medical glove Ponzi scheme. Over twelve years (2002 to 2014), Wannakuwatte convinced several investors that their money was financing RelyAid Global Healthcare, a manufacturer of latex medical gloves which Wannakuwatte claimed had $125 million worth of contracts with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It didn’t. RelyAid did have one contract with the Department but it was worth only $25,000.
With the millions he collected, Wannakuwatte – a former owner of the now defunct Sacramento Capitals professional tennis team – bought real estate in Hawaii, Oregon and California. In 2014, the 63-year-old Wannakuwatte was sentenced to 20 years in jail. American Greed airs Thursdays at 10pm on CNBC.