New Jersey Deli Owner Caught in $100 Million Fraud Says Phucket, I'm Outta Here After a short time on the run, the fraudster was arrested in a Thailand hotel.
This place must have made amazing sandwiches.
In September, Peter Coker Jr., his father Peter L. Coker Sr., and a third accomplice, James T. Patten, were charged in a financial fraud scheme that resulted in their New Jersey-based Hometown Deli being valued at $100 million.
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Coker Sr. and Patten both plead not guilty, while Coker Jr. decided to skip any legal headaches and simply went on the run. On January 11, a spokesperson for the New Jersey US Attorney's office reported that Coker Jr. had been found hiding in a hotel room in Thailand's Phuket province and was taken into custody.
The Bangkok Post detailed that Coker was on "red and black notices" issued by Interpol for "colluding in stock fraud, fraudulent manipulative securities trading and related offenses."
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The financial scheme involved the trio using accounts to create the false appearance of trading in two companies, Hometown International Inc. (whose sole asset was the deli) and E-Waste Corp. According to Bloomberg, trading in the company — which had sales of less than $20,000 in 2019 — pushed its shares above $13, resulting in the nine-figure market capitalization.
New Jersey delis are known for overstuffing their sandwiches, but this is over the top.