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Accused Scammer Cosmo's Mercedes Sold At Auction

By THOMAS MAIER AND JAMES BERNSTEIN | thomas.maier@newsday.com james.bernstein@newsday.com

April 8, 2009

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Accused Ponzi scammer Nicholas Cosmo's black 2007 Mercedes-Benz was sold at an auction Tuesday for $47,000.

"If you're wondering, this is Nicholas Cosmo's car," auctioneer Richard Maltz told about 250 people gathered in a lot in Plainview.

The crowd murmured.

The opening bid for the S-class S550 was $35,000. But bids soon shot up.

The winning bidder at the David R. Maltz auction company slipped out of the lot before he could be interviewed. Richard Maltz is the son of David R. Maltz.

About 140 cars were being auctioned, but only one belonged to Cosmo. The Mercedes had clocked 38,000 miles.

One man, who had bid $46,000, said he had not offered the money only because the auto had belonged to Cosmo. "I just like the look of the car," he said, declining to give his name.

Maltz said a sports facility in Hauppauge owned by Cosmo is to be auctioned in late May or early June. An auction last week of some of Cosmo's office equipment brought in $37,000. The auctions are being held to recoup investors' money.

Cosmo, 37, president of Agape World Inc. in Hauppauge, has been charged in what federal authorities have said was a $380-million Ponzi scheme. The Lake Grove man is in jail while his legal team prepares a bail package. A previous $750,000 bail package was deemed insufficient by a judge in Central Islip.

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