Northern New York Newspapers
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NNY Living
Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Racetrack land in Norfolk and Brasher fails to sell at auction


CANTON — More than 900 acres of land in Brasher and Norfolk once intended for a racetrack but caught up in a Ponzi scheme, failed to sell Friday at an auction arranged by the bankruptcy trustee for Agape World, the company that held the mortgage on the land.

The property was foreclosed on a complaint filed by Kenneth P. Silverman, the bankruptcy trustee of Agape World, which financed the $2.1 million mortgage for Northway Island Associates. The land is an asset of Agape World, whose owner, Nicholas Cosmos, pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges in 2010 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing more than $125 million from thousands of investors over five years.

A representative for Northway did not come to the auction in Canton, although the company’s attorney called Silverman Acampora attorney Robert J. Ansell to find out what time the auction was. Brasher Supervisor M. James Dawson, who was at the auction, said he also had expected Northway to bid.

“If you have an interest after today, I’ll give you my card and we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Ansell told an onlooker in the lobby of the St. Lawrence County Courthouse who wondered what would happen if bids were not high enough to satisfy the lien, which stands at more than $3.6 million.

The bankruptcy trustee will take title to the property and do what he can to benefit investors swindled by Mr. Cosmos.

The sole bidder, other than the bankruptcy trustee, was Lee Curran of Seaway Timber Harvesting, who dropped out at $230,000.

“It’s yours,” he told Mr. Ansell.

Mr. Curran said Seaway was interested in the property because it is close to Curran Renewable Energy, the company’s pellet plant in Massena.

“He’d have kept going,” Mr. Curran said of Mr. Ansell. “If I don’t get it, I don’t get it.”

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