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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Brooklyn Leader of Violent Gang Sentenced to Nine Years’ Imprisonment for Racketeering

Qian Zheng Ordered Numerous Extortions and Assaults over Eight-Year Period

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Qian Zheng, also known as “Cash,” was sentenced by United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to nine years’ imprisonment for racketeering based on his role as the leader of the Zheng Organization, a violent criminal enterprise that operated in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn and the Flushing section of Queens for nearly a decade and engaged in violent assaults, extortions and drug distribution.  In January 2017, Zheng pleaded guilty to Count One of the indictment charging that between January 2007 and September 2015, the defendant, together with others, conducted and participated in the affairs of the Zheng Organization through a pattern of racketeering activity. The Court also ordered Zheng to pay $30,550 in restitution.

Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Thomas Decker, Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.

“Qian Zheng was the leader of a criminal enterprise responsible for a variety of rackets including the repeated use of violence to collect extortionate debts,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Rohde.  “His conviction, and the convictions of other members and associates of his criminal organization, reflects the strong commitment of this Office, along with our partners in law enforcement, to dismantling organized crime groups that spread fear throughout communities of this District.” 

“The subjects in this case terrorized a community with their criminal enterprise and violent tactics,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “No one should dread leaving their homes, and going about their daily lives in fear of being harassed or brutally beaten by criminals who believed stealing is easier than making an honest living.  The FBI’s goal has been and always will be to stop these groups from developing and maintaining a stranglehold on local communities.”

“Zheng was ruthless in his lead role in this criminal organization, with multiple assaults and extortions over nearly a decade,” said ERO Field Office Director Decker.  “ERO will continue to work with the FBI and NYPD on these cases in an effort to remove these criminals from New York City streets.”

According to court filings and evidence presented at trials of Zheng Organization members and associates, in 2007 Zheng began running a criminal enterprise that engaged in various criminal activity and numerous acts of violence, specifically as alleged:

In August 2013, Zheng tasked two of his underlings with assaulting both the ex-boyfriend of a woman who hired him to arrange that assault and the ex-boyfriend’s wife.   Zheng provided his underlings with the victims’ home and work addresses, their daily schedule and a photograph of the male victim, and pointed out the victims’ home and car.  Zheng was recorded instructing his underlings to “beat him every time he is seen” and to “break his leg” and “scar the woman’s face.”  Zheng was paid at least $6,000 to carry out the vicious assault.  The victims were ultimately alerted to Zheng’s plan and were not injured.

In December 2013, Zheng attempted to extort a man in New Rochelle, New York.  A recording captured Zheng explaining that his underlings “will bring the guns, fire two gunshots” into the victim’s family’s restaurant and then leave.  Zheng was also recorded explaining that the victim “needs to be punched first.  Otherwise, he won’t pay any money.”  Zheng and three associates went to the victim’s home, but the victim noticed the men and called the police.

In the fall of 2014, Zheng Organization member Guifu Gao, also known as “Chicken Feather,” had a financial dispute that he wanted resolved with violence.  Zheng instructed one of his underlings to carry out an assault.  Gao instructed the underling to cripple the victim and make him handicapped.  Gao further explained that he wanted the victim beaten and his legs broken.  Zheng echoed Gao’s demands and was recorded instructing his underling to “follow [the victim] home and beat him in front of his house at night.  Beat him hard!”  Gao paid the underling $5,000 to carry out the assault but the victim was alerted to Zheng and Gao’s plan and was not injured.

In May 2015, Zheng instructed a number of his underlings, including co-defendants Xin Lin, also known as “Blackie,” Kai Huan Huang, also known as “Shen Shen,” and Xue Jiang Gao, also known as “Xue Zhang,” to extort the owner of a gambling parlor.  Lin, Huang, Jiang Gao and others went to the victim’s parlor, surrounded him and demanded money.  When the victim explained that he did not owe any money, Lin, Huang and Gao beat him with their fists and wooden stools.  The victim was left battered and bruised, with a fractured bone and a permanent deformity.  Zheng’s underlings also destroyed the victim’s gambling parlor, causing thousands of dollars in damage.  Zheng then sent more of his underlings to pressure the victim not to report the incident to law enforcement.

In addition to these acts of violence, Zheng and his underlings regularly distributed narcotics, including ketamine and MDMA, and in January 2014, Zheng operated an illegal high-stakes gambling parlor, run by Zheng Organization members, which grossed more than $60,000 in approximately 36 hours. 

Other Zheng Organization members and associates who were charged in this case have previously been convicted and sentenced for various crimes that they committed with Zheng or at his behest.  Guifu Gao was sentenced on January 24, 2017 to 70 months’ imprisonment for an extortionate collection of credit conspiracy.  Kai Huan Huang, who was convicted after trial, was sentenced on April 6, 2017 to 70 months’ imprisonment for an attempted extortion and extortion conspiracy.  Jiyao Jiang, who was convicted after trial, was sentenced on March 21, 2017 to 28 months’ imprisonment for an extortion conspiracy.  Xue Jiang Gao was sentenced on November 9, 2017 to 60 months’ imprisonment for racketeering.  Xin Lin was sentenced on March 9, 2017 to 78 months’ imprisonment for an extortion conspiracy.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Nadia E. Moore, Maria Cruz Melendez, Ameet Kabrawala and Mathew Miller are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

QIAN ZHENG, also known as “Cash”
Age: 46
Brooklyn, New York

XIN LIN, also known as “Blackie”
Age: 35
Queens, New York

GUIFU GAO, also known as “Chicken Feather”
Age: 37
Brooklyn, New York

KAI HUAN HUANG, also known as “Shen Shen”
Age: 28
Brooklyn, New York

XUE JIANG GAO, also known as “Xue Zhang”
Age: 32
Brooklyn, New York

JIYAO JIANG, also known as “Yi Qiang”
Age: 45
Queens, New York

ALLEN HUI CHEN, also known as “Yi Hui”
Age: 45
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-CR-628 (CBA)

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John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated November 28, 2017