New Jersey defendants in delirious securities fraud hire Madoff and Shkreli’s ex-lawyer
The defendants charged in an allegation of fraud involving Hometown International Inc. (OTCPK: HWIN) – stock valued at $100 million despite owning only one junk food store in New Jersey – has a number of highly respected attorneys representing them.
Bernie Madoff’s former attorney, Ira Sorkin, represents the defendant James Patten, while attorneys for Peter Coker Sr. is Mark Agnifilo, who has defended “pharmacist guy” Martin Shkreli in the past.
Patten and Coker appeared Tuesday in New Jersey federal court after prosecutors charged them in an alleged scheme that resulted in a $100 million valuation for HWIN despite the company owning only one snack shop. Both pleaded not guilty, were released on $100,000 unsecured bond and agreed to hand over their passports, the US attorney’s office confirmed to Seeking Alpha.
Coker’s son Peter Coker Jr was also charged, but authorities listed him as living in Hong Kong and he did not appear.
The three men allegedly used Hometown International Inc. (OTCPK: HWIN), operates a snack shop in Paulsboro, NJ, and a shell company of its own, E-Waste Corp. (EWST) to artificially increase the price of both stocks. Authorities claimed the men also used the companies to make transactions and ended up disposing of their shares at “too inflated” prices.
Shares of Hometown, where the New Jersey deli reported annual sales of less than $40,000, rose from $1 per share in October 2019 to nearly $14 per share in April 2021. US Securities and Exchange Commission declare resulting in an “increased total market cap” of $100 million, Hometown (OTCPK: HWIN) has been delisted at the end of April 2021.
Fees after Hometown International (OTCPK: HWIN) attracted a lot of publicity last April after prominent hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital discussed the stock surge.
“Pastrami must be great,” wrote Einhorn in April 2021 letter.