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Eight indicted for bid rigging in ‘Shrimp Boy’-linked case to appear in court this week

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A well-connected San Francisco businessman, the son of an Oakland City councilmember and a former state official — all indicted for allegedly rigging construction bids — are set to be arraigned in U.S. District Court this week along with a handful of co-defendants.

In all, eight people have been indicted in the case, which sprang from the years-long investigation into Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

The eight defendants are Derf Butler, 48, of Vallejo; Anton Kalafati, 33, of San Francisco; Taj Reid, 46, of Oakland; Eric Worthen, 45, of Pleasant Hill; Clifton Burch, 49, of San Lorenzo; Peter McKean, 48, of San Mateo; Len Turner, 56, of San Leandro and Lance Turner, 57, of Oakland.

Almost all of the men allegedly conspired to fix a bid on a construction project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. According to the indictment, some of the defendants intentionally overbid on the project to ensure the company with the lowest bid would get the contract.

The head of the construction company who sent in the lowest bid was an undercover FBI agent who bribed some of the players for their part in the scheme. Another scheme noted in the indictment involved attempting to fix a bid on a state veterans affairs project in Southern California.

One of the most prominent defendants is Butler, who worked with former school board member Keith Jackson and for former state Sen. Leland Yee. Both men have been convicted for taking part in illegal campaign finance schemes, among other crimes.

The indictment alleges the crimes took place in 2013 and 2014 and in some cases were caught on FBI wiretaps, some of which were reported by the San Francisco Examiner in August 2015.

Most of the defendants are set to be arraigned Monday with the exception of Reid, who will appear Tuesday, and McKean, who will appear April 27.


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