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“Mini-Madoff” sentenced to 25 years for $400 million Ponzi scheme

Fraudster misled middle-class investors

A Ponzi schemer known as “mini-Madoff” was recently sentenced to serious jail time.

On Friday, a district court judge sentenced Nicholas Cosmo to 25 years in prison and ordered him to repay $179 million to more than 4,000 investors he deceived during a five-year Ponzi scheme.

Between October 2003 and January 2009, Cosmo made investors believe they were investing in short-term commercial bridge loans through his two Long Island, N.Y.-based companies, Agape World Inc. and Agape Merchant Advance. In actuality, he used new investments to pay returns and ended up stealing more than $195 million from his investors.

Media outlets referred to Cosmo as a “mini-Madoff” after he was arrested for his ploy in January 2009. The nickname underscored the similarities between Cosmo and Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi schemes. While Madoff duped wealthy investors out of billions, Cosmo targeted working-class families and U.S. soldiers.

Visit Thomson Reuters to read more about Cosmo’s Ponzi scheme.

Contributing Author

Ashley Post

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