Monday, December 6, 2010
So today, i say, lets hope our Trustee follows the example of Irving Picard - madoff trustee and goes after Bank of America.
It may be our only saving grace.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Another Agape employee, Richard Barry, 44, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud last month and could face at least 10 years in prison. Barry, currently free on $200,000 bond, is the only other person besides Cosmo to be charged in the alleged Agape World scam. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2011.
VICTIMS SHOULD BE THERE TO SHOW SUPPORT TO THE PROSECUTORS
Monday, September 13, 2010
Yes Sir. You could have lost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 5 years to Agape, but if youve taken any money back in the last 90 days... the trustee feels it should come back to the pool.
Personally, I think this is ridiculous.
1. Investors might have actually gained over the past 5 years (taken more than they invested) and they arent asked to give it back???
2. In these difficult economic times, you want victims to be victimized again (this time by the court and trustees office).
I dont know, maybe its just me. I guess if no one complains, then you must all be happy with the decision.
I quit writing to the blog months ago because I releaized it made no difference.
People lost money. People resigned themselves to fate.
I wonder if they'll continue to take it laying down.
Friday, May 21, 2010
U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley issued a trial date of Jan. 10, 2011. Cosmo, of Lake Grove, faces 10 counts of mail fraud and 22 counts of wire fraud in the scheme, which prosecutors said duped 1,500 investors. He has pleaded not guilty.
In a related development, federal prosecutors filed an arrest warrant Thursday for one of Cosmo's closest associates, Richard Barry, charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Barry, of Seaford, held various titles at the Agape companies when the alleged Ponzi scheme occurred, including vice president and office manager, according to the arrest warrant filed by federal prosecutor Demetri Jones.
In Cosmo's case, Jones told Hurley at U.S. federal court in Central Islip that the government and Cosmo's attorneys were attempting to negotiate a plea deal.
If Cosmo goes to trial and is convicted, he theoretically would face life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines because of the sum involved in the alleged scheme.
Cosmo's attorney, Richard Levitt, declined to comment Thursday, as did Jones.
The arrest warrant for Barry accuses him of knowingly participating in several frauds which formed the central part of the alleged Ponzi scheme, Jones said, including falsely promising investors high rates of returns for funding short-term bridge loans to real estate developers.
According to the warrant, Barry knew that many of the loans would not be issued and that it was mathematically impossible to pay the rates of returns, up to 60 percent to 72 percent, that investors were promised.
Barry's attorneys have agreed to have him surrender Friday on the mail-fraud conspiracy charge in court in Central Islip, according to officials.
No time has been set yet for a hearing in the case.
Attorneys for Barry could not be reached for comment.
Richard Barry of Seaford, who at one time was vice president and office manager of Cosmo's Hauppauge-based Agape companies, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson at the federal court in Central Islip. He was not required to enter a plea.
Tomlinson released him on $200,000 bail, pending future hearings. As a condition of bail, Barry was ordered to surrender his passport and is forbidden to travel outside the Eastern District - which includes Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island - and also Manhattan, which is in the Southern District, without the permission of the court.
Barry declined to comment Friday, as did his attorney, Lisa Annibale. Federal prosecutor Demetri Jones also declined to comment.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley tentatively set Jan. 10 for the start of Cosmo's trial on charges of mail and wire fraud.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
This new information comes from "court ordered subpoena" of the "TRUSTEES" Records.
Look for more information to follow as I review the ammended complaint.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
One of the last and best hopes for victims of Nicholas Cosmo’s alleged Ponzi scheme to recover their lost millions has fizzled in court.
Judge Arthur Spatt dismissed three lawsuits filed against Bank of America and two commodities brokerages that claimed the companies aided Cosmo in ripping off more than 5,000 investors in his Hauppauge-based investment firm, Agape World. In the decision handed down on Jan. 29, the judge ruled the plaintiffs hadn’t proved that the bank and the trading firms had knowledge of the alleged $400 million fraud and shouldn’t be held liable.
Attorneys for the victims argued that the bank and the trading firms failed to adequately vet Cosmo, who was barred for life from associating with anyone in the securities business as a result of his first conviction for fraud in 1998. The feds say Cosmo lost nearly $100 million in online futures trading with about a half-dozen brokerages in the last couple of years. The bank was the conduit for the millions paid to the stock traders that was supposed to go to bridge-loan borrowers, according to Agape’s business model.
But Cosmo only made loans for less than $25 million of the $400 million he took in from investors. The feds say he blew through the rest and paid at least $55 million to about a dozen Agape sales reps.
Agape World took in so much money between 2006 and 2008 that Bank of America employees were stationed there to facilitate the transfers of millions between customers. Agape investors have told LIBN that a woman who identified herself as a bank employee called them and recommended Agape as a good investment. She even suggested that investors take out home equity loans from her bank and put it into Cosmo’s company, where they would get interest rates as high as 14 percent in just six weeks.
The dismissal of the three lawsuits doesn’t bode well for similar suits that are still pending against the bank and stock trading firms. And with little Agape assets left to recover, victims were hoping the courts would hold the bank responsible, because they feel it acted irresponsibly with their accounts.
Agape victim Dom DiColandrea said the judge’s dismissal sets a new precedent for “corporate criminals” to avoid prosecution or penalty when failing to warn the public of any danger or suspicious activity.
“I think it’s a sad statement about our system of justice when a United States district court judge rules in favor of corporate willful deception over the unsuspecting consumer,” DiColandrea said. “The honorable Judge Spatt has done exactly that. He spat in the face of every innocent victim with this unfathomable ruling.”
Spatt left open the possibility of revisiting the claim against the bank, but only if further evidence is found that it helped carry out the alleged fraud or that Bank of America breached its fiduciary duty to its customers.
Spatt was on the bench for the prosecution of Cosmo’s first fraud, where about 10 victims lost about $170,000 to the then 26-year-old stock broker. Cosmo had put their money into his own Charles Schwab account and sent his clients phony statements to cover up the thefts. The judge sentenced him to 21 months in the Allenwood Federal Corrections facility and ordered Cosmo to undergo extensive gambling therapy. The swindler founded Agape World upon his release in August 2000.
Arrested on Jan. 26, 2009, Cosmo is currently being held at the Nassau County jail in East Meadow. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 26. If convicted this time, prosecutors say Cosmo faces up to 30 years in prison.
Long Island Business News
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Nearly a year after his arrest for running an alleged Ponzi-scheme, Nicholas Cosmo has a new attorney because he doesn’t have any money to pay the old one.
Bronx attorney Stacey Richman asked to be relieved from the case in federal court Friday and Judge Denis Hurley handed it over to Manhattan lawyer Richard Levitt, of Levitt & Kaizer, who will be paid for his services through the government’s Criminal Justice Act.
“I understand that Mr. Cosmo’s financial situation is relatively dire,” Hurley said before approving the move.
The judge also approved a $2,800 payment for the electronic version of case records for Cosmo and his new attorney to review. He set the next court date for Jan. 29 at 10 a.m.
- ► May (4)