US Arrests Financier in Purported $400 Million Scam

Authorities on Monday arrested the chief executive of a private New York financing firm on suspicion of running a purported Ponzi scheme that attracted $400 million in investments, U.S. law enforcement officials said. They said Nicholas Cosmo, head of Agape World on New York's Long Island, was said to provide commercial bridge loans, but was instead operating a traditional Ponzi scheme in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients.


Another law enforcement official, said agents had visited Cosmo's office on Monday expecting to arrest him, but he was not there. He complied with the warrant on Monday night. The amount of money, while large, pales compared with the alleged $50 billion fraud masterminded by investment manager Bernard Madoff. But law enforcement officials say they expect to uncover more Ponzi schemes following the sharp decline of the U.S. financial industry.

Agape World, a private firm with its office in Hauppauge, New York was not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.