Palm Beach Man Faces|Extradition to Thailand

     (CN) – A Palm Beach man may be extradited to Thailand to face charges he kidnapped, robbed and tried to extort a wealthy businessman, a magistrate judge ruled on Thursday.
     Shawn Abraham Shaw has been in jail since he was arrested at his girlfriend’s Palm Beach condominium in November 2014. His alleged victim, Antonio Accornero, is a millionaire – and purportedly a long time friend of the defendant — who divides his time between Las Vegas and Phucket Thailand.
     According to court documents, Accornerno claims Shaw drugged him in a Phucket bar in December 2013, bound him with plastic ties, and then held him for several hours until he agreed to pay a $3 million ransom.
     Shaw denied the charges and said what really transpired between the men was nothing more than a business deal gone wrong. Shaw maintains he traveled to Thailand to ask Accornerno to invest in a business that would cash in casino chips that tourists and gamblers take home from Las Vegas.
     Prosecutors claim Accornerno agreed to pay Shaw the ransom — later reduced to $2 million — upon the defendant’s return to the United States. Investigators say the ransom was to be disguised as a the proceeds from a business deal so Shaw could avoid paying taxes on the money.
     Shaw has been fighting extradition, arguing that he could face the death penalty in Thailand; the government, however, has maintained that this is not the case.
     Magistrate Judge William Matthewman said Shaw’s potential punishment is basically irrelevant. He says the ultimately decision on extradition lies with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to request there be an independent review of the case before a final decision is made.
     “There is probable cause to believe that Shawn Abraham Shaw, a/k/a Shawn Abraham , the Defendant brought before this Court, is the same person wanted by the Kingdom of Thailand, and further, there is probable cause to believe that said Defendant com mitted the crimes of deprivation of liberty of person, unlawful detention, kidnapping, extortion and robbery as charged against him in the Kingdom of Thailand,” Matthewman wrote.
     He ordered that until a final decision is made on extradition, Shaw be held at the Federal Detention Facility in Miami.
     Representatives for Shaw could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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