LI financier accused of fraud held until bail hearing

The head of an investment firm based in Hauppauge was supposed to be arraigned on fraud charges Tuesday, but a judge decided to let defense attorneys take more time to build their case. Nicholas Cosmo,

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2009, 12:37 AM

Updated 5,656 days ago

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The head of an investment firm based in Hauppauge was supposed to be arraigned on fraud charges Tuesday, but a judge decided to let defense attorneys take more time to build their case.
Nicholas Cosmo, CEO of Agape World, surrendered to federal agents Monday night in Hicksville. The 37-year-old Lake Grove resident is accused of running a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors out of nearly $400 million. Investors say they never got their money back, and suspected they?d been duped. "Everyone knew that things weren?t going right at Agape World, but I can?t reveal any details,? says United States Postal Inspector Al Weissmann.
FBI agents who sought to arrest Cosmo at the offices of Agape World Inc. Monday were seen carting away boxes of documents. Agape World makes short-term bridge loans to developers while promising investors a 12 percent return on their money.Investigators say Cosmo took in more than $370 million from about 1,500 investors, telling them it would be used to make loans. They say records revealed only $10 million was used for that purpose, and $100 million went into a trading account controlled by Cosmo.
Cosmo is a convicted felon who served nearly two years in prison for securities fraud. He founded Agape World shortly after his release from a federal lockup in August 2000.Cosmo is due back in court for a bail hearing Thursday, January 29. If convicted on the fraud charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
AP wire reports contributed to this article.
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