Suspect Behind $100 Million N.J. Deli Scheme Arrested In Thailand


A man accused of taking part in a scheme that briefly made a small New Jersey deli worth $100 million on paper has been arrested in Thailand.

According to multiple reports, and will now face federal charges in what appears to be one of the most bizarre cases of alleged stock manipulation in recent memory.

Coker Jr. served as the chairman of Hometown International Inc., a publicly traded company that reached a $100 million market capitalization in 2021 despite holding only one asset: the Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia. 

Prosecutors say the men advertised Hometown International and a shell business they operated, E-Waste Corp., as vessels for reverse mergers with private businesses, drastically boosting the companies’ stock prices in the process. 

Their alleged manipulation—which prosecutors say included illegal coordinated trades—managed to raise Hometown International’s stock price by more than nine times and E-Waste’s by nearly 200 times. 

Even before charges were filed last year, Hometown International drew scrutiny from hedge fund manager David Einhorn in March 2021, who proclaimed, “The pastrami must be amazing.”

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