HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A convicted Long Island, N.Y., swindler has been arrested in connection with an alleged $130 million loss in a Ponzi scheme, authorities revealed Tuesday.
Nicholas Cosmo, 37, of Hauppauge, N.Y., surrendered to authorities Monday night after the FBI conducted raids on offices his company, Agape World Inc., in Queens and Suffolk County, the New York Post reported.
In court documents unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors allege Cosmo persuaded more than 6,000 clients to put close to $400 million into Agape by promising unrealistically high interest payments for what he called commercial "bridge loans," the newspaper said.
"People started panicking in September when the Madoff stuff happened," an unnamed Long Beach, N.Y., woman who says she gave $1.4 million to Cosmo told the Post, referring to former NASDAQ exchange chairman Bernard Madoff. Madoff has been charged with swindling investors out of more than $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme that paid investors with money invested by subsequent investors.
Federal investigators say they believe $130 million to $140 million of the $380 million that clients allegedly gave Cosmo is lost, the Post said.