Hometown Deli, Paulsboro, NJ
Mike Calia | CNBC
Peter Coker Sr., one of the defendants in the case of the so-called $100 million New Jersey delihired an attorney who previously represented “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, according to a new filing Tuesday.
Coker Sr. hired Marc Agnifilo to represent him in his case against the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued him and two other men, including his son, for alleged market manipulation.
The Justice Department also charged the men – Coker Sr., Peter Coker Jr. and James Patten – with multiple counts including securities fraud, conspiracy and money laundering for an alleged scheme to to increase the value of a small publicly traded company that had just a small New Jersey deli named after it.
The company, Hometown International, reached a staggering $100 million valuation in an over-the-counter market despite the deli, the now-shuttered Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, NJ, making less than $40,000 in annual sales.
Agnifilo, a former federal prosecutor based in New York, did not immediately return a call from CNBC seeking comment. In addition to representing Shkreli, he has worked for convicted sex criminal and former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere and a Russian bank which was sanctioned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Shkreli, who was released from prison earlier this year, was convicted of securities fraud in 2017 and sentenced in 2018.
Authorities arrested Coker Sr. and Patten last week in North Carolina and have been conditionally released. Their case should be transferred to a federal court in New Jersey. Prosecutors wanted to keep Coker Sr. detained. Coker Jr., who is based in Hong Kong, is considered a big one.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.