Despite a turnover of 40,000 dollars, a small grocery store in New Jersey suddenly found itself worth 100 million dollars on Wall Street in 2021, via a fraudulent arrangement, for which the American authorities charged Monday three men. The Ministry of Justice has accused them of various violations of stock market laws and, for one of them, of money laundering, while the police of the financial markets (the SEC) are also prosecuting them for manipulation.
According to authorities, they colluded to take control of two companies, Hometown International and E-Waste, before artificially inflating their title in the over-the-counter market by pretending there was a big demand: the share of the first took up to 939% and that of the second about 19,900%. But Hometown International was the parent company of the modest grocery store, a “deliwhich had been selling pastrami sandwiches, salads and coffee since its opening in 2015.
The establishment, which closed at the end of June, had come to the attention of the business world in 2021 when it was mentioned in a note by hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Referring to the dangers faced by retail investors, he cited the deli as an example and commented: “The pastrami must be amazing there.The Department of Justice arrested two of the men, James Patten, 63, and Peter Coker Sr, 80. The son of the latter and last indicted, Peter Coker Jr, 53, is based in Hong Kong and has not been apprehended.
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