Hometown Deli, Paulsboro, NJ
Mike Calia | CNBC
Peter Coker Sr., one of the defendants in the so-called $100 million New Jersey deli case, hired an attorney to represent “pharma brother” Martin Shkreli, according to a new court filing Tuesday.
Coker Sr. hired Marc Agnifilo to represent him in his case against the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was suing him and two other men, including his son, for alleged market manipulation.
The Justice Department also criminally indicted the men – Coker Sr., Peter Coker Jr. and James Patten – on multiple counts including securities fraud, conspiracy and money laundering over an alleged plan to boost the value of a small, publicly traded company that only had a small town -Deli in New Jersey to his name.
The company, Hometown International, hit a staggering $100 million valuation in an over-the-counter market last year, even though the deli, now-defunct Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, NJ, had less than $40,000 in annual sales achieved .
Agnifilo, a New York-based former federal prosecutor, did not immediately respond to 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 sanctioned for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive who was released from prison earlier this year, was convicted of securities fraud in 2017 and sentenced in 2018.
Authorities arrested and conditionally released Coker Sr. and Patten in North Carolina last week. Her case is to be referred to federal court in New Jersey. Prosecutors wanted to keep Coker Sr., 80, in custody. Hong Kong resident Coker Jr. is believed to be at large.