Thailand holds suspect in $100 million deli case

BANGKOK (AP) — A suspect wanted in in connection with an alleged stock manipulation scheme that led a small New Jersey delicatessen to be listed as a public company worth $100

million has agreed to his voluntary extradition to the United States after being arrested last week on the resort island of Phuket, a Thai legal official said Friday. Peter

Coker Jr. is sought by U.S. authorities on charges of fraud and shares manipulation in connection with two companies, Hometown International and E-Waste Corp, that had been traded

over the counter. Two other men indicted on the same charges, Peter Coker Sr., and James Patten, were arrested in the United States last year. A warrant was issued for the arrest

of Coker Jr., a partner at a financial services company in Hong Kong. The Bangkok law firm representing Coker Jr. did not immediately respond to phoned requests for comment

about the case. The alleged illegal activities came to light in 2021, when media reports surfaced that Hometown International, whose sole asset was a delicatessen in

Paulsboro, New Jersey, had a valuation of about $100 million. The anomaly was initially publicized by David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager, who joked in a letter cautioning his

clients about the company that “The pastrami must be amazing.” The three indicted men were accused of trading shares of Hometown International and E-Waste Corp back and

forth among a small group of investors to pump up the price. The U.S. District Court in New Jersey indictment alleges that they intended to merge with a private company in order

to draw the attention of public investors and sell off their own stock at the inflated prices.