NY swindler called 'mini-Madoff' to be sentenced

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2011 4:32 AM
NY swindler called 'mini-Madoff' to be sentenced

A New York businessman called a "mini-Madoff" because he was arrested only weeks after the billion-dollar swindler, faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Nicholas Cosmo pleaded guilty last year to mail and wire fraud in a $413 million stock scheme. He was scheduled for sentencing Friday in U.S. District Court on Long Island.

Cosmo is the former head of the Long Island-based Agape (uh-GAH'-pay) World and Agape Merchant Advance in New York City.

Agape solicited investors to fund short loans to help companies get temporary financing. He promised up to 80 percent returns, but admitted using investors' money for his personal investments.

Unlike Bernard Madoff, who admitted cheating charities, celebrities and institutional investors out of billions, Cosmo's victims were largely blue-collar workers and veterans.