A Thai legal official said Friday that a man wanted in the U.S. in connection with an alleged stock manipulation scheme that led to a small delicatessen in Gloucester County being listed as a public company worth $100 million has agreed to go there on his own.
Peter Coker Jr. is wanted by US authorities for fraud and stock manipulation involving two over-the-counter companies, Hometown International and E-Waste Corp.
Peter Coker Sr. and James Patten were both arrested in the United States last year on the same charges as Peter Coker Sr. Coker Jr. has been taken into custody. He is a partner at a Hong Kong-based financial services firm.
Coker Jr.’s lawyers in Bangkok didn’t answer the phone right away when they were asked about the case.
Your Neighbourhood Deli is Worth $100 Million
In 2021, media reports said that Hometown International, whose only asset was a delicatessen in Paulsboro, was worth around $100 million. This was when the alleged illegal activities came to light.
David Einhorn, who runs a hedge fund, was the first to notice the strange thing. He joked in a letter to his clients about the company, “The pastrami must be great.”
The three men were accused of trading shares of Hometown International and E-Waste Corp among a small group of investors to drive up the price.
According to the indictment filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, they planned to merge with a private company to get the attention of public investors and sell their stock at inflated prices.
A Suspect From a New Jersey Deli Was Apprehended in Phuket
Coker Jr. was tracked to his home in Phuket near Surin beach, where he signed a one-year lease, according to Thai police, who claimed that U.S. officials had notified them of his potential entry into Thailand in December of last year. On January 11th, he was detained.
He entered Thailand years ago with a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis, an eastern Caribbean island that sells citizenship in exchange for investment, claims the police statement.
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According to Teerat Limpayaraya, a prosecutor in Thailand’s Attorney General’s office, Coker Jr. is being held in a jail in Bangkok while waiting for extradition.
“The extradition of Mr. Coker Jr. to the United States was voluntary, which streamlined the court’s legal procedure. According to Thai legislation, we must wait for 30 days before giving him back “Teerat elucidated.
“When he was brought in, he was weak and informed us that his liver disease requires medical attention. We think he came to Thailand with the idea of staying.”
In a video that was made public by the police, Coker Jr. is shown in his beachside home sitting in a chair while Thai officers read search and arrest orders to him. He is dressed in shorts and a T-shirt. Later, while he was being brought to a police car, he looked like he needed help walking.
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