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Alternative Market Briefing

Nicholas Cosmo ordered to pay $240m in fines in latest ruling on 2009 Ponzi scheme

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Nicholas Cosmo, formerly of Lake Grove, N.Y., is faced with a default judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after he was charged by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of defrauding investors of tens of millions of dollars in a commodity futures trading scheme. Cosmo, known as Long Island's Bernie Madoff, was originally arrested in 2009 for a $370–413 million Ponzi scheme involving his former company Agape World.

Cases have been moving forward against Cosmo since 2009 on Agape World, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2011. Prosecutors were initially only able to locate $10m of investor funds in bridge loans that were made and as much as $100m was believed to have been lost in commodities trading. Another $50-60m of investor funds went to paying brokers commissions. Cosmo originally represented to investors that he was making bridge loans and merchant advances and instead used the money to make unauthorized commodities future trades and pay for his lifestyle.

The first indicators of Cosmo's criminal activities, however, showed up earlier. In 1999, Cosmo, then a licensed stock broker and account executive, pleaded guilty to mail fraud after admitting to commingling funds, purposely misleading investors, and forging documents. Cosmo was sentenc......................

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