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New Jersey deli fugitive Peter Coker Jr. agrees to extradition

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The former fugitive is under criminal investigation stock manipulation fees Thai authorities said a man linked to a loss-making New Jersey deli once valued at $100 million has agreed to be extradited from Thailand to the United States.

Peter Coker Jr., 54, was arrested last week by Thai police in the resort area of ​​Phuket, less than four months after he, his father, Peter Coker Sr., and an associate, James Patten, were accused in federal court in New Jersey.

The charges relate to two public companies, Hometown Internationalwhich owned only a modest, now-shuttered deli in Paulsboro, New Jersey, and Electronic wastea shell company that had no assets.

Coker Jr., who was most recently known for living and working as a businessman in Hong Kong, is being held in a Bangkok jail for the next several weeks pending his expected extradition. This is reported by the Associated Press Friday.

Thai police said in a statement that Coker Jr., an American who recently lived in Hong Kong, entered the country on a passport issued by the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis. This country sells citizenship in exchange for investment, AP notes.

“Mr. Coker Jr. voluntarily agreed to be extradited to the United States, which simplified the legal process,” Terat Limpayaraya, a prosecutor in Thailand’s attorney general’s office, told the AP.

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“We have to go through a 30-day waiting period as required by Thai law before sending him back,” Terat said.

The prosecutor also told the AP that Coker Jr. “was visibly weak when he was admitted and told us he needed treatment for liver disease. We believe he entered Thailand with a possible plan to settle here.”

US prosecutors accuse the Cokers and Patten of conspiring to inflate the stock prices of Hometown International and E-Waste, both of which had high market capitalizations despite owning few valuable assets, to make them more attractive to private companies . merger candidates. Both companies later found merger partners.

Coker Jr. served as chairman of Hometown International.

While Patton and Coker Sr. appeared in court after their arrests, Coker Jr. was believed to be at large until his arrest last week.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, which is handling the case, confirmed the arrest of Coker Jr. in Thailand, but declined to comment further.

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