WHAT: New York businessman Nicholas Cosmo, 40 — dubbed the “mini-Madoff” because he was arrested shortly after the billion-dollar swindler — was sentenced to 25 years in prison and ordered to pay $179 million in restitution, which he doesn’t have.
HOW: Cosmo promised some 4,000 investors 80 percent returns from a fund that made short loans to companies needing temporary financing. Instead he used the money for personal purchases and failed commodities futures trading.
WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Unlike Bernard Madoff, who cheated charities, celebrities and institutional investors out of billions, Cosmo’s Ponzi scheme targeted mainly blue-collar workers and destroyed their life savings.
I have lived in San Francisco a long time and am fortunate enough to be long lived. But I see that something in San Francisco has been lost. What were formerly taboo, impolite, poor manners, illegal or immoral, today is part of modern culture.