Ponzi schemer James Nicholson’s victims plead with judge to lock him up and throw away the key
BY ALISON GENDAR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, April 5th 2010, 6:59 PM
Hermann for News
The victims of Ponzi schemer James Nicholson are sending a judge their sob stories in the hopes he locks him up and throws away the key.
In a series of letters made public yesterday, they say the $133 million swindle left them counting pennies to survive.
“I have no money in the bank,” 82-year-old Brooklynite Josephine Esposito wrote the judge.
“I needed this money to live, pay bills and buy food … I now need to calculate how much money I have to spend on food each month.”
Federal Judge Richard Sullivan will consider these victim statements when he sentences Nicholson in June. Nicholson faces up to 45 years in prison.
Nicholson has been sending investors brief apologies from lock-up as he awaits his sentencing.
“Nicholson said that after Lehman collapsed, [his firm] Westgate had devastating losses and he panicked,” wrote Lorraine Reilly.
“What Nicholson failed to mention in his pathetic attempt to make us feel sorry for him was that after he panicked, he bought a $25 [million] house in Southampton.”
Even Nicholson’s own family said he should do hard time.
“Please do not let him off lightly for all the pain he caused to the many people who invested with him,” said his cousin said Jean Taliana, who was bilked.
Nicholson pleaded guilty last December and admitted he sent bogus financial statement to more than 250 investors between 2004 and 2009.