Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another property sold and the brokers have their assets seized

Ponzi-schemer Nicholas Cosmo’s Louisiana land nets $850K for
Long Island Business News, Oct 30, 2009 by David Winzelberg
A Mississippi River tugboat company paid $850,000 for a 25-acre industrial property in southern Louisiana owned by Agape World, the Hauppauge-based company run by alleged Ponzi-schemer Nicholas Cosmo.
Gordon Konrad, chief of Belle Chasse Marine Transportation in Jefferson, La., was the winning bidder for the land located about 15 miles southeast of New Orleans, which it will use as a boat launch and barge service center.
Cosmo, who is currently in a Nassau County jail awaiting trial for allegedly scamming thousands of investors out of $413 million, had invested more than $1 million in a plan by California-based United Steel Supply to build a concrete distribution center on the Mississippi riverfront site. But the company went bust and Agape ended up with the property.
Agape World bankruptcy trustee’s designated auctioneer, Plainview- based David R. Maltz & Co., sold the land Monday.
Maltz already sold Cosmo’s Mercedes for $47,000 and his indoor sports complex in Hauppauge for $3.4 million. After the Louisiana land sale, the auctioneer will get a crack at property owned by Agape brokers and sub-brokers, which the feds have been systematically seizing in the last few months.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has put lis pendens filings on a number of properties owned by brokers, including a Long Beach condo and Montauk house owned by Jason Keryc, Agape World’s most prolific salesman. Keryc, who grew up across the street from Cosmo in Wantagh, paid $850,000 for the Long Beach condo in November 2006 and spent $2.7 million in July 2008 for the 10-room, nearly two-acre Montauk house.
Other assets of former Agape brokers the feds could be eyeing include a 10-room, waterfront house in Massapequa that Marty Hartmann bought in August 2008 for $1.4 million, a two-family house on City Island in the Bronx that Hugo Arias paid $730,500 for in January 2007, and a house in Bayside bought by Anthony Ciccone in August 2007 for $1.787 million. Records show that Ciccone took out a $989,508 mortgage on the house with Wells Fargo.
In the wide-ranging search to recover Agape assets, bankruptcy trustee Ken Silverman, of Jericho-based Silverman Acampora, has sued several brokers for more than $40 million so far. Among those targeted by the trustee’s claims is Keryc for $16 million, Arias for $10 million, Jose Ricardo Diaz for $8 million, Diane Kaylor for $4.75 million and Bryan Arias, Hugo’s brother, for $2 million. Pretrial conferences on these claims are scheduled for next month.
The trustee has also asked for financial information from many Agape employees, salespeople and their family members including Hartmann, Richard Barry, Brandi Keryc, Maria Mendez, Rachel Tauz and Shamika Luciano, Cosmo’s girlfriend.
The trustee has asked the court to force several futures-trading companies rent generator to furnish information about the millions transferred to them from Cosmo and his companies. The government believes Cosmo lost at least $80 million of his client’s money while trading with more than a half-dozen firms

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