Four charged in $400 million Ponzi fraud
By Jessica Dye
April 25, 2012
Four former employees of a Long Island-based investment firm were charged Wednesday with running a Ponzi fraud that cost more than 4,000 investors $179 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.
Jason Keryc, Anthony Massaro, Anthony Ciccone and Diane Kaylor, misled investors at Agape World Inc and Agape Merchant Advance, by using other investors’ money to pay returns, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in a federal court in Central Islip, New York. It was a classic Ponzi scheme that ran for about five years and pulled in $400 million, the complaint said.
The founder of Agape and Agape Merchant Advance, Nicholas Cosmo, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in October after pleading guilty to the scheme.
The defendants, who worked as either account representatives or brokers at Agape and Agape Merchant Advance, misrepresented the safety of the high-risk trades they made on customers’ behalf, promising high rates of return on what they depicted as low-risk investments in short-term commercial loans, the complaint said.