Convicted San Francisco Chinatown crime boss Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences in prison Thursday, marking a major milestone in a sprawling, decade-long federal investigation that probed some of the darker aspects of the city's political landscape and led a former state senator to a five-year prison sentence.
Chow was the principal defendant in a complex racketeering case that indicted 28 others, all alleged to have some connection to a criminal enterprise he was convicted of operating as dragonhead of San Francisco's branch of the Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal organization. Chow was convicted in January of all 162 counts for which he was charged, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, money laundering and running a racketeering organization.
The case was revealed to the public when FBI agents conducted a series of simultaneous raids, searches and arrests on March 26, 2014, and former state senator and San Francisco politician Leland Yee was among those arrested.
The government's lead prosecutor said in court Thursday that Chow is a "highly manipulative, constant, perpetual liar" who made a "mockery of those who have effectively rehabilitated" by presenting a facade of a reformed criminal while orchestrating the murders of his rivals and building an organized racketeering organization in San Francisco's Chinatown.
"The defendant lied repeatedly while he was on the witness stand," Assistant U.S. Attorney William Frentzen said in court. "This is a case that involved a murder, the ordering of a murder, an infamous murder, a murder that was committed so that Mr. Chow himself could move ahead and advance and take over ... corrupting a long-standing community organization."