CFTC Charges Agape
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has charged Agape World, Inc. and Agape Merchant Advance with defrauding customers of tens of millions of dollars in a commodity futures trading scheme. The CFTC’s press release stated that the Order of Permanent Injunction imposes permanent trading and registration bans against the Agape entities, while also permanently barring them from engaging in any commodity-related activity.
Judge Leonard D. Wexler of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, entered in the Order of Permanent Injunction, banning the entities permanently from the futures industry.
A History of Fraud
In 2009 the CFTC charged the Agape Entities and defendant Nicholas Cosmo, the owner of Agape Entities, with engaging in a fraudulent scheme in which tens of millions of dollars were solicited from investors to invest in bridge loans and merchant advances. According to the Complaint, the defendants used a significant portion of those funds to engage in unauthorized commodity trading – resulting in tens of millions of dollars in losses that were never disclosed to investors.
Cosmo, in a related criminal case, was sentenced to 300 months in prision and ordered to pay over $179 million of restitution to defrauded investors.
In October of 2012, Judge Wexler of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, entered a Default Judgement and Permanent Injunction Order against Cosmo, which imposed a $240 million civil monetary penalty, permanent trading and registration bans and other equitable relief against him.
The Agape Entities are also debtors in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceeding pending before Judge Dorthy T. Eisenberg in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York.