A State of Florida Judge has granted an order of extradition for Shawn Abraham Shaw, 43, who has been locked up since he was found hiding out in Florida in late November 2014, he is accused of committing a bizarre set of crimes in Thailand.
Those include kidnapping, extortion and robbery against an alleged victim who was his friend for years. Thai prosecutors and police want to try Shaw.
Shaw has maintained that he could face the death penalty in Thailand, even though the government says he wouldn’t. U.S. Magistrate Judge William Matthewman ruled that issue is irrelevant and left to the sole discretion of the U.S. government’s executive branch.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will conduct an independent review of the case and make the final decision on whether to turn Shaw over.
Shaw has been representing himself since March. His former defense lawyer, Jason Kreiss, would not comment on the judge’s decision but said he’s sure Shaw will appeal the judge’s ruling and try to persuade the secretary of state not to extradite him.
Shaw denied the charges and argued that he is the victim of a legitimate business deal gone bad. He said he traveled to Phuket in an attempt to sell an idea, potentially worth millions, to cash in casino chips that visitors take home from Las Vegas.
Accornero filed a complaint stating that he and Shaw went to a bar together and he began to feel “very strange” after drinking a couple of Diet Cokes, Thai investigators said.
A bartender told authorities that he knew the victim, noticed he was acting oddly and that Shaw either helped or carried him out of the establishment.
Accornero said Shaw took him to a house where he was held overnight and the two negotiated a $3 million ransom, later reduced to $2 million, to be paid when Shaw returned to the United States. The ransom, investigators said, was to be disguised as a business deal so Shaw could avoid taxes.
Accornero didn’t report the incident until several weeks after Shaw returned to the United States.
Among his arguments against extradition to Thailand, Shaw said the Thai push for prosecution is fabricated, purchased by a wealthy alleged victim. The judge found Shaw presented no evidence or testimony to support that argument.