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Conman, Thief & Gambler
Jenifer McAndrews Conman, Thief & Gambler
April 16, 2013
By: Jenifer McAndrews

EYEWITNESS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO


He was once an up and coming stockbroker but he turned to a life of crime in order to save his own skin, some people called him a mini Madoff.

Sal learned the definition the of a ponzi scheme the hard way. His family lost half a million dollars in a $400 million dollar ponzi scheme run by Nicolas Cosmos.

Sal wasn’t alone. Six thousand people invested in Agape World, the company Cosmos claimed made money from short-term lending to businesses. U.S. Postal Inspectors say he promised to pay investors anywhere from ten to 15% interest on these loans that were typically 60 days. At that rate, investors could make 60 to 80% on their money. That might sound good - but it wasn’t a reality.

(richard cinnamo, us postal inspector)
Postal Inspector Richard Cinnamo says, “We did undercover work, posing as an investor a prospective borrower to see if this project was feasible. I quickly learned it was not.”

Initial investors got interest checks but were asked to roll over their money. Typical for a ponzi scheme. Cosmos also had a habit that put him in a financial hole. Investigators say Cosmos' vice was gambling. They say he also used over $80 million dollars to trade on the futures markets

Postal inspectors say when someone tells you anything that pays handsomely is risk-free, you need to run the other way. It’s a scam.

Nicholas Cosmo pleaded guilty and received 25 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $179 million dollars in restitution.



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