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Admitted NY Ponzi swindler get 25-year prison sentence; ordered to pay $179M in restitution
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) ' A New York businessman called a "mini-Madoff" because he was arrested weeks after the billion-dollar swindler has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Nicholas Cosmo also was ordered to pay $179 million in restitution ' money he doesn't have.
He pleaded guilty last year to mail and wire fraud. He was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court on Long Island.
Cosmo is the former head of the Long Island-based Agape (uh-GAH'-pay) World and Agape Merchant Advance in New York City.
Agape solicited investors to fund short loans to help companies get temporary financing. He promised up to 80 percent returns, but admitted using investors' money for personal investments.
Bernard Madoff admitted cheating charities, celebrities and institutional investors out of billions. Cosmo's victims were largely blue-collar workers and veterans.