SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today in US District Court, Deepal Wannakuwatte, a well-known Sacramento businessman and former owner of the Sacramento Capitals tennis team, pleaded guilty in connection to masterminding a $150 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded dozens of investors. He admitted responsibility to a count of wire fraud presented by FBI agents in a February criminal complaint, making for a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Wannakuwatte's sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 24th.
Wannakuwatte was the owner of International Manufacturing Group and RelyAid, companies he represented as a successful medical glove supply business. Promising high returns on supposed multimillion-dollar contracts to provide the Department of Veterans Affairs with latex gloves, he has caused untold financial and emotional suffering to Northern California investors who trusted him. Nearly twenty years ago, O.J. Simpson's defense attorney Johnny Cochran coined the mantra, "If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit." In the case of Wannakuwatte and his lies, today we know the gloves were a tale that put him in jail.
Ponzi schemers like Wannakuwatte are able to steal millions due to their social skills, persuasive persona and seeming success, and in such a way they endanger whole business communities. With the criminal matter largely resolved, it's important to point out that Wannakuwatte-related bankruptcy proceedings and clawback litigation, as well as recovery efforts for victims, could soon make the headlines of tomorrow. Hackard Law is monitoring events in real-time.
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Michael A. Hackard,
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Mather, Sacramento County, CA 95655
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