NY, Fla. associates of 'mini-Madoff' arrested

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Associated Press

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 26 at 12:02 AM

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — The FBI has arrested four associates of a New York man convicted in a $400 million Ponzi scheme.

Three men and one woman were arrested Wednesday. Three of them were arrested on Long Island; a fourth was taken into custody in Florida.

The three New York suspects appeared in U.S. District Court in Central Islip (EYE'-slihp) on Wednesday afternoon. An attorney for one of them told a reporter before the proceeding that his client is innocent.

The four are associates of New York businessman Nicholas Cosmo. He was nicknamed "mini-Madoff" because he was arrested weeks after the notorious billion-dollar swindler was arrested.

Cosmo pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud and is serving 25 years.

Bernard Madoff looted billions from victims that included charities and celebrities. Cosmo targeted mainly blue-collar workers.

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