US fugitive wins appeal to remain in Tonga

Tonga’s Court of Appeal in Nukuʻalofa on October 31 has quashed a Supreme Court decision upholding the extradition of an American man who was wanted by US authorities for counts of wire fraud and other illegal activities.

The Tongan government will not officially hand over Antone Thomas Pedras, 62, to the United States at the request of the FBI  after the Court of Appeal decided that the ground of his removal order was legally invalid.

The FBI investigated after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) served public administrative proceedings against Pedras.

In a release on June 18, 2014 SEC says that after an investigation, its Division of Enforcement alleges that Christopher A.T. Pedras was known as Chris Pedras and he was also known as Antone Thomas Pedras, 62.

Pedras arrived in Tonga in January this year and according to SEC document he lived in Turlock, California and Auckland in New Zealand.

Pedras is married to a Tongan.

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