Demons & Dialog

Exposing hidden news, history, & the new world order

NY financier arrested in purported $400 million scam

leave a comment »

Reuters

By Grant McCool

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Authorities on Monday arrested the chief
executive of a private New York financing firm on suspicion of running
a purported Ponzi scheme that attracted $400 million in investments,
U.S. law enforcement officials said.

Nicholas Cosmo, head of Agape World Inc on New York’s Long Island,
was said to provide commercial bridge loans, but was instead operating
a traditional Ponzi scheme in which early investors are paid with the
money of new clients, officials said.

“Nicholas Cosmo took the advice of an attorney and complied with an
arrest warrant,” said Al Weissmann, spokesman for the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service, which is investigating Agape World and Cosmo along
with the FBI.

Another law enforcement official, said agents had visited Cosmo’s
office on Monday expecting to arrest him, but he was not there.

He complied with the warrant on Monday night and was expected to
appear in magistrate’s court on Tuesday in Central Islip on Long
Island, FBI and USPIS officials said.

The amount of money, while large, pales compared with the purported
$50 billion fraud masterminded by investment manager Bernard Madoff.
Law enforcement officials said they expect to uncover more Ponzi
schemes following the sharp decline of the U.S. financial industry.

Agape World Inc, a private firm with its office in Hauppauge, New
York was not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

“Some of the early investors made money but as this scheme started
to crumble, the later investors did not see a penny,” a law enforcement
official said of the firm.

Cosmo was convicted of a federal charge of felony fraud and swindle
in 1999 and sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was released in August
2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

According to the firm’s website http://www.agapeworldinc.net/ it has made
commercial bridge loans, construction loans, acquisition loans and
financing for properties nationwide with capital obtained from private
sources since 1999.

Projects in New York, California, Texas and South Carolina are among
those listed as recipients of its loans in the past two years.

INVESTORS RAISED CONCERNS

Investors had been raising concerns about Agape long before the
financial crisis unearthed the recent rash of Ponzi schemes, seeking
advice and intelligence on Internet investment chat boards such as
http://www.scamvictimsunited.com and http://www.fatwallet.com.

“Has anyone invested with Agape World Inc? They provide bridge loans
and offer investors 13-14% returns? When my brother was telling me
about it, it sounded kinda fishy and risky,” reads a March 2, 2008
website posting.

“The pictures on their website would make you believe that they
funded the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the Taipei 101 Tower, and the
Tower of Babylon, and the Baghdad Railroad,” reads another post.  Continued…

Advertisements

Written by Michael Cooper

January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: