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Thailand to Extradite American Over $100 Million Stock Fraud Case

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Thailand to Extradite American Wanted in $100 Million Fraud Case

An American wanted in connection with an alleged stock manipulation scheme that resulted in a small New Jersey delicatessen being listed as a public company worth $100 million has agreed to voluntary extradition to the United States, a Thailand legal official said Friday.

US authorities are looking for American Peter Coker Jr. on charges of fraud and stock manipulation in connection with two over-the-counter companies, Hometown International and E-Waste Corp. Peter Coker Sr. and James Patten, two other men indicted on the same charges, were arrested in the United States last year. Coker Jr., a partner at a Hong Kong-based financial services firm, has been arrested.

The Bangkok law firm representing Coker Jr. did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment on the case.

The alleged illegal activities were revealed in 2021, when media reports revealed that Hometown International, whose sole asset was a delicatessen in Paulsboro, New Jersey, was worth around $100 million. The anomaly was first brought to light by David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager, who joked in a letter to his clients about the company, “The pastrami must be amazing.”

The three men were accused of trading shares of Hometown International and E-Waste Corp among a small group of investors in order to inflate 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 in order to attract the attention of public investors and sell off their own stock at inflated prices.

Thailand to Extradite American Wanted in $100 Million Fraud Case

Police in Thailand said U.S. officials informed them of Coker Jr.’s possible entry into Thailand in December last year, and he was tracked to his residence near Surin beach in Phuket, where he signed a one-year lease. He was arrested on January 11th.

According to the police statement, the American entered Thailand several years ago with a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis, an eastern Caribbean island that sells citizenship in exchange for investment.

Coker Jr. is being held in a Bangkok jail pending extradition, according to Teerat Limpayaraya, a prosecutor in Thailand’s Attorney General’s office.

“Mr. Coker Jr. voluntarily consented to be extradited to the U.S., which has simplified the court’s legal process. We must complete a 30-day waiting period, as required by Thai law, before returning him,” Teerat explained. “He was visibly frail when he was taken in and told us that he needs medical treatment for his liver disease. We believe he entered Thailand with the intention of settling here.”

The police released a video of Coker Jr. sitting in a chair wearing a T-shirt and shorts in his seaside home as Thai police read out search and arrest warrants to him. Later, as he was being escorted to a police vehicle, he appeared to require walking assistance.

74-Year-Old American Falls to His Death in Phuket

74-Year-Old American Falls to His Death in Phuket

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