Long Island Investment Firm Boss Surrenders

The owner of a Long Island investment firm accused of cheating people out of more than $100 million is expected to appear in court Tuesday.

Nicholas Cosmo
Nicholas Cosmo

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin says Nicholas Cosmo surrendered at a U.S. Postal Inspection Service office in Hicksville on Monday night.

Cosmo runs Agape World in Hauppauge. He's accused of taking in $300 million from investors and cheating them out of about $140 million.

A letter hanging in Cosmo's office window denies there was any Ponzi scheme, the type of fraud Bernard Madoff is accused of committing. A Ponzi, or pyramid, scheme promises unusually high returns and pays early investors with money from later investors.

"Right now, I think I've been scammed," Richard Bennett, 55, a Valley Stream real estate investor who invested $30,000 with Agape World, told Newsday.

Unlike Bernard Madoff, who is accused of bilking wealthy individuals and nonprofits, Agape World investors are more "blue collar and they invested their life savings," Michael Kessley, a forensic accountant hired last year to investigate the firm, told Newsday.

Defense attorneys at the Herrick Feinstein law firm haven't returned telephone calls seeking comment.