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Latest Agape World Ponzi Scheme Involved Gambling Debts

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/27/2009
Nick Cosmo

Another alleged ponzi scheme has wiped people out of millions and this one reportedly has ties to gambling. 

According to Jonathan Dienst of MSNBC, Nicholas "Nick" Cosmo is the founding president of Agape World Investments, and late Monday afternoon, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Friday, Cosmo received a police escort from the office after more than 20 investors showed up there, demanding information about their accounts.

Cosmo was convicted of felony fraud in 1999 and sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was released the following year.

Gambling911.com was informed Tuesday that law enforcement had been investigating Cosmo for some time. 

CNBC reported Tuesday afternoon that Cosmo had ties to organized crime and gambling enterprises.  He is said to owe tens of thousands of dollars in gambling debt to the Genovese crime family.

From CNBC.com:

A former Genovese family associate, Michael Durso, who is now in the federal witness protection program, and another associate met Cosmo in in the late 1990s, sometime around 1997, according to these people. It was at that time that they put pressure on Cosmo to pay around $139,000 owed to loan sharks connected with the Genovese family, they said.

At one point, members of the Gambino family intervened on Cosmo's behalf and paid some of the debt, these people said. Durso, these people say, has been in contact with the FBI about his alleged involvement with Cosmos.

An attorney for Cosmo when informed about the alleged connections with New York crime families had no comment.

Agape World CEO Nicholas Cosmo told some investors on Friday that all payouts are suspended because real-estate deals the firm backed are facing foreclosure.

One investor, airplane machinist Carlos Leon, said he went to Agape's office on 37th Avenue, only to find it closed.

"I'm scared," said Leon, who added that he invested his $30,000 in life savings with the firm. "I've been calling. They are not telling me anything."

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher         

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