A suspect wanted in connection with an alleged stock manipulation scheme that led to a small New Jersey deli listing as a public company worth $100 million has agreed to his voluntary extradition to the United States after being arrested last night. last week on the resort island of Phuket. a Thai legal official said on Friday.
US authorities are seeking Peter Coker Jr. on charges of fraud and stock manipulation in connection with two companies, Hometown International and E-Waste Corp, that had traded over the counter. Two other men accused of the same charges, Peter Coker Sr. and James Patten, were arrested in the United States last year. An arrest warrant has been issued for Coker Jr., a partner in a financial services company in Hong Kong.
The Bangkok law firm representing Coker Jr. did not immediately respond to telephone requests for comment on the case.
TWO MEN CHARGED IN $100M NEW JERSEY DELI SCHEME PLEAD NOT GUILTY
The alleged illegal activities came to light in 2021, when media reports surfaced that Hometown International, whose sole asset was a deli in Paulsboro, New Jersey, had a valuation of around $100 million. The anomaly was first publicized by David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager, who joked in a letter warning his clients about the company that “pastrami must be amazing.”
The three accused men were accused of trading shares of Hometown International and E-Waste Corp among a small group of investors to increase the price. The US District Court in New Jersey indictment alleges they intended to merge with a private company to attract the attention of public investors and sell their own shares at inflated prices.
Thai police said US officials tipped them off about Coker Jr., 54,’s possible entry into Thailand in December last year, and tracked him to his residence near a popular tourist spot of Surin Beach in Phuket. , for which he signed. a one year lease. He was arrested on January 11.
The police statement said he had entered Thailand several years ago on a passport from the eastern Caribbean island of Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is one of many nations that sells citizenship in exchange for investment.
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Teerat Limpayaraya, a prosecutor with the Thai Attorney General’s office, said Coker Jr. is being held in a Bangkok jail awaiting extradition.
“Mr. Coker Jr. voluntarily consented to be extradited to the US, which has simplified the court’s legal process. We have to complete a 30-day waiting period as required by Thai law before sending him back. Teerat said. “He was visibly frail when he was taken in and he told us he needs medical treatment for his liver disease. We believe he entered Thailand with a possible plan to settle here.”
A video released by police showed Coker Jr. sitting on a chair in a T-shirt and shorts at his seaside residence as Thai police read details of the search and arrest warrants to him. Later, while being escorted to a police vehicle, he appeared to need help walking.