:LI 'MADOFF' ORDERED HELD WITHOUT BAIL
ACCUSED OF HEADING $370M PONZI SCHEME
The accused Long Island head of a $370 million Ponzi scheme was ordered held without bail today after prosecutors revealed how he spent millions on a lavish lifestyle, bad investments and huge fees to his aides.
Nicholas Cosmo, 37, conned more than 1,500 people to invest in "bridge loans" through his firm, Agape World, with promises of up to 80 percent a year in interest, authorities said.But only $10 million of the $370 million actually went to loans
, they said. Instead:
-- Cosmo, who had a gambling problem, lost $80 million on commodities futures
-- He spent $100,000 on personal expenses such as a jewelry, limos and hotel rooms
-- Another $300,000 went for a children's baseball league he ran as its president.
-- Ten Agape brokers, including three with criminal records
, received fees of $55 million.
-- Cosmo paid off more than $200,000 in restitution from a previous fraud conviction with money from his new clients
"It's playing out like a textbook Ponzi scheme
," Postal Inspector Al Weissmann said.
In fact, prosecutors said only $746,000 was left in Agape's bank accounts and investigators said they were looking for other accounts.
Federal Magistrate E. Thomas Boyle denied Cosmo's efforts to get bail after prosecutor Grace Cucchissi opposed it "because we do not know where the money is