‘Outraged’ Tony Serra vows ‘Shrimp Boy’ appeal

Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, the leader of a Chinatown fraternal association, was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco Friday on all 162 counts lodged against him in an organized-crime case.

The convictions include racketeering conspiracy and the murder in aid of racketeering in 2006 of Allen Leung, Chow’s predecessor as leader or dragonhead of the Chee Kung Tong association.

Chow was also convicted of conspiring to murder another rival, five counts of conspiring to receive and transport stolen liquor and cigarettes across state lines, and 154 counts of money laundering.

He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on March 23. The murder in aid of racketeering conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.

Chow, 56, became the dragonhead of the Chee Kung Tong several months after Leung was slain by a masked gunman in his Chinatown business office in February 2006. Prosecutors alleged Chow ordered the killing.

The defense contended that Chow reformed and renounced crime after completing a previous racketeering and gun trafficking sentence in 2003, and became a community leader dedicated to helping youth. Prosecutors alleged that he ran a faction of the tong as an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Defense attorney Tony Serra said outside of court that Chow will appeal:

“The defense feels frustrated, agonized and outraged. … We feel like we have been stabbed in the back by the jury.”

Serra said the conviction was “predicated on the testimony of five snitches” who had “absolutely no credibity.” The witnesses included informants and codefendants who agreed to testify against Chow as part of plea bargains with prosecutors.

Serra said Chow was “noble” in accepting the verdict and told his attorneys, “We’ll win on the second round,” referring to the appeal.

Chow is one of 29 people who were indicted by a federal grand jury in 2014 after a several-year FBI undercover operation.

The investigation also led to unrelated political corruption charges against former state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo.

Yee pleaded guilty last year to a separate racketeering conspiracy charge in the indictment and admitted accepting bribes in return for political favors. He is awaiting sentencing.