Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, the leader of a Chinatown fraternal association, was described as a “ruthless, opportunistic, ego-driven thug” by a prosecutor during closing arguments today in Chow’s murder and racketeering trial in federal court in San Francisco.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Badger told the jury during the prosecution’s closing argument that Chow “based his whole life on deception.”
Chow, 56, the chief or dragonhead of the Chee Kung Tong, is accused of racketeering conspiracy, the murder of his predecessor as dragonhead, soliciting the murder of another rival, conspiring in the trafficking of stolen goods and aiding and abetting dozens of money laundering transactions by his subordinates.
The closing arguments began this morning in the court of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer after two months of prosecution and defense testimony. The jury is expected to begin deliberating either today or Tuesday.
Chow’s lawyers, who will present defense arguments later today, maintain that he renounced crime after completing a racketeering and gun trafficking sentence in 2003 and is now dedicated to community service and guiding Chinatown youth away from crime.
But Badger argued to the jury, “Raymond Chow was not a changed man after he got out of prison. Raymond Chow has been planning for this defense… since he was discharged from prison.”
She contended that Chow learned from his previous convictions that he should beware of wiretaps, put on a face of being devoted to community service and seek to appear insulated from the crimes committed by his associates.
Badger told the jury that Chow is responsible for the crimes, including the 2006 gunfire slaying of then-dragonhead Allen Leung, because he allegedly arranged and conspired in them.
An undercover FBI agent who posed as a Mafia member testified that Chow accepted 24 envelopes containing a total of $60,000 as payment for introductions to tong associates who carried out crimes such as money laundering and sales of stolen liquor and cigarettes.
Chow was recorded as saying “no, no, no” as he received the envelopes. He testified last month that he thought the payments were gestures of love and respect from the purported Mafia member.
Badger told the jury, “Raymond Chow is a man who says one thing and means another. He says ‘no, no, no, I can’t take the money’ and then takes it.”
Julia Cheever, Bay City News