‘Mini-Madoff’: 25-year sentence for $400 million Ponzi scheme

WHAT: New York businessman Nicholas Cosmo, 40 — dubbed the “mini-Madoff” because he was arrested shortly after the billion-dollar swindler — was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay $179 million in restitution, which he doesn’t have.

HOW: Cosmo promised some 4,000 investors 80 percent returns from a fund that made short loans to companies needing temporary financing. Instead he used the money for personal purchases and failed commodities futures trading.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Unlike Bernard Madoff, who cheated charities, celebrities and institutional investors out of billions, Cosmo’s Ponzi scheme targeted mainly blue-collar workers and destroyed their life savings.


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