The federal government plans to charge Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow for allegedly soliciting murder in the slayings of a prominent Chinatown businessman and a former associate who was found dead in Mendocino County, according to filings by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Chow’s lawyer Curtis Briggs said his team was informed on Friday the U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to present new evidence to a grand jury that will allegedly show Chow was involved in the killing of Allen Leung in 2006 and Jim Tat Kong in 2013.
“The government contacted us recently and informed us they will now attempt to charge these murders, which means that they must be before the grand jury, or they will be shortly,” Briggs said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner. “I expect on Tuesday the government will be asking for a continuance to delay trial on that basis. We will oppose it.”
U.S. Attorney’s Office had no comment on the matter, but a filing late Monday evening indicated it will be pursuing murder charges as part of its racketeering case against Chow.
“The Court has requested further information regarding the evidence that defendant Chow solicited the murder of Allen Leung during 2005 and 2006 and the evidence that defendant Chow solicited and encouraged the murder of Jim Tat Kong between 2011 and 2013,” the filings say. “Both individuals were murdered with firearms by shooters who are currently unidentified. Both murders remain under investigation, but the government is prepared to proceed with charges linking CHOW to soliciting both murders.”
Additionally, prosecutor William Frentzen said in Judge Charles Breyer’s federal courtroom on Sept. 28 that his office plans to divulge in a filing some of the evidence linking Chow to the death of Leung.
At the time, Frentzen did not say specifically charges would be filed. He only said the filing would include evidence linking Chow to the killings.
Now, Briggs believes a special hearing on Tuesday has been called to give the feds more time to ready their planned indictment.
“Chow had nothing to do with these killings and we welcome the opportunity to stand face to face with the federal prosecutor and challenge these allegations in a public trial,” said Briggs in a statement.
Chow, set to stand trial in early November on a series a racketeering charges for his alleged leadership of an organized crime group in Chinatown, was at the time of his March 2014 arrest leader of the fraternal organization once headed by Leung.
Chow became the Dragonhead of the Chee Kung Tong after Leung was killed.
Before Leung’s death, Chow had reportedly asked another fraternal organization, the Hop Sing Tong — of which Leung was a member — for $120,000 for a youth group.
The request was denied, then someone fired shots into the Hop Sing Tong’s front door.
Then Leung, who aided the FBI case looking into the shooting, was killed.
Chow alone wore white at Leung’s funeral, which some thought was a sign of disrespect. His attorneys said otherwise.
The defense also argues an FBI informant provided information about Leung’s killing and helped exonerate Chow. Despite this “the FBI has never missed an opportunity to try to paint Chow guilty for this murder,” Chow’s attorneys said in a filing.
They argue that evidence for Leung’s death points to another man.
“All evidence pointed at the now deceased Jim Tat Kong,” noted a recent defense filing. “Jim Tat Kong was attempting to take control of the Hop Sing Tong.”
Kong was found dead along with his wife Oct. 17, 2013, in Fort Bragg, in Mendocino County.
“Jim Tat Kong’s death was identified as a double suicide by responding agencies,” said the filing.
According to the defense filing, the FBI alleged Chow and Kong were feuding because Kong was acting out of line, intimidating elderly tong members. Furthermore, Kong allegedly put a hit out on Chow in 2008.