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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Federal Bribery Charges Added To List Of Crimes Pending Against Oakland Resident Wing Wo Ma

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury in San Francisco filed a Third Superseding indictment today adding bribery to the list of charges pending against Wing Wo Ma, a/k/a Mark Ma, a/k/a Fat Mark, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The new indictment amends drug distribution charges originally brought October 21, 2015, and conspiracy and murder charges filed April 6, 2017.   

The third superseding indictment realleges charges brought in the April 6, 2017, superseding indictment that Ma, 52, of Oakland, was involved in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana between January and October of 2013.  During the same period, Ma allegedly possessed a firearm in furtherance of the drug conspiracy and used a firearm to cause the death of two people: Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Che. Ma has been charged with one count each of conspiracy to cultivate and distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B); use of a firearm causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j); and use of a firearm during and relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).  

Today’s third superseding indictment adds conspiracy to commit bribery allegations to the charges previously pending against Ma.  Specifically, Ma bribed an Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Investigator to protect Ma from prosecution and investigation by law enforcement agencies. As alleged, Ma gave things of value to the now former investigator, including airfare for multiple trips to Las Vegas, free accommodation at high-end suites and hotel rooms at Las Vegas casinos, music concert tickets, and use of a new Mercedes Benz.  In addition, Ma told criminal associates that the investigator would be able to protect them from investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies, given Ma’s relationship with the investigator.  Ma also collected money from criminal associates for the purpose of bribing the investigator and represented to criminal associates that the investigator was an investor in Ma’s fraudulent investment projects.  Furthermore, Ma used the investigator’s name and reputation to attract investors to his own fraudulent schemes.  

The indictment charges Ma with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 666, 1343, and 1346. 

All indictments merely allege that crimes have been committed, and all defendants, including Ma, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Ma faces a maximum statutory sentences as follows:

  • Conspiracy to cultivate and distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana: Maximum term of forty years imprisonment; maximum fine of $5,00,000; at least four years, but up to lifetime, supervised release. (Mandatory minimum prison term of 5 years.)  
  • Use of Firearm Causing Murder: maximum lifetime imprisonment, maximum fine of $250,000, maximum three years of supervised release.  
  • Use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime: maximum life imprisonment, maximum fine of $250,000, maximum five years of supervised release. (Minimum consecutive penalties include the following: 5 years consecutive mandatory minimum, 7 years if the firearm is brandished, and 10 years if the firearm is discharged.)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Bribery:  maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, maximum $250,000 fine, maximum three years of supervised release.

However, any sentence following a conviction of Ma would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph Alioto and William Frentzen are prosecuting these cases with the assistance of Adria Trigovcich and Bridget Kilkenny.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 

Updated October 11, 2018