Asia

Peter Coker Jr. arrested in Phuket, Thailand; St. Kitts & Nevis citizen wanted for stock manipulation, colluding in fraud

Peter Coker Jr., 54, is a citizen of the Saint Kitts and Nevis. He previously lived in Hong Kong and was wanted by the United States for stock manipulation and colluding in fraud.

In February 2020, Coker before the chairman of Hometown International, a publicly traded corporation registered in Nevada, USA. His father Peter Coker Sr., 83, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA was a major shareholder of the corporation. 

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James Patten, 63, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina allegedly convinced the owners of the Your Hometown Deli to put it under the control of Hometown International, which had merged with bioplastics company Makamer. Owned by Paul Morina, the deli is based in Paulsboro, New Jersey, USA.

Established in 2014, Your Hometown Deli started selling shares on what was known as the OTC Marketplace in 2019 and had under $40,000 in annual revenue before t closed in 2022. Another shell company called E-Waste Corp, which shared connections with Morina, merged with another firm in 2021.

Also in 2021, Your Hometown Deli was worth $100 million in the stock market, which was considered bizarrely huge for a small-town deli. Patten, Peter Jr. and Peter Sr. are accused of manipulating markets and defrauding investors.

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On September 26, 2022, Peter Sr. was arrested in North Carolina. At the time, Peter Jr. was at large while he was based in Hong Kong.

Peter Sr., Peter Jr. and Patten were charged with 12 counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. On October 11, 2022, Peter Sr. and Patten pleaded not guilty.

On December 27, 2022, a warrant for Peter Jr.’s arrest was issued as he was on red and black notices issued by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). On January 11, 2023, he was arrested in a hotel room in Thalang, Phuket, Thailand.

Led by police major general Montri Khetkhan, the arresting team worked the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the U.S. On January 16, 2023, Peter Sr. and Patten appeared remotely via Zoom for a hearing in the courthouse in Camden, North Carolina.

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