You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Oakland Resident Wing Wo Ma Convicted Of Federal Murder, Drug Distribution, Conspiracy, And Bribery Charges

The defendant shot his victims in the head while they were seated in the front seat of their minivan

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal jury in San Francisco convicted Wing Wo Ma, a/k/a Mark Ma, a/k/a Fat Mark, of murder, drug distribution conspiracy, weapons, and bribery charges, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The verdict follows a three-week trial before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Judge.

“The jury’s verdict makes clear that Wing Wo Ma will answer for the brutal killings of Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “The verdict also ensures that Ma’s personal crime wave, including murder, drug distribution, bribery, and conspiracy, has come to an end.”   

“This trial brings a measure of justice for the families of Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen.  Wing Wo Ma committed these homicides in cold blood and showed a blatant disregard for the rule of law,” said Special Agent in Charge Bennett. “The arrest and conviction of Wing Wo Ma shows the FBI’s commitment to get dangerous criminals off the street and protect Northern Californians from violent threats.”

According to the evidence submitted at trial, Ma, 53, of Oakland, shot and killed Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen on October 17, 2013, in Ft. Bragg, Calif., while the couple was seated in their minivan. Beginning in January of 2013, Ma had borrowed money from Kong for several business ventures including a marijuana grow and a real estate scheme in Mendocino County. Fearing retribution from Kong upon finding himself unable to repay the money, Ma met with Kong and Chen on Chen’s birthday. While seated in the car, Ma shot each of the victims with a single gunshot to the head and then left their bodies in the minivan parked in a secluded, wooded area in Mendocino County.   

Further, Ma was convicted of bribery.  The evidence demonstrated that Ma bribed Harry Hu, an inspector employed by the Alameda County District Attorney and a former Lieutenant in the Oakland Police Department. Ma bribed the inspector with airfare for multiple trips to Las Vegas, free accommodation at high-end suites and hotel rooms at Las Vegas casinos, meals and entertainment in Las Vegas and San Francisco, female hostesses at private room bars in Las Vegas and San Francisco, music concert tickets, use of a new Mercedes Benz, and labor for the remodel of the DA investigator’s personal residence. Ma bribed Hu in an effort to protect himself from prosecution and investigation by Hu and other law enforcement agencies. Ma also collected money from criminal associates for the purpose of bribing Hu and represented to criminal associates that Hu was an investor in Ma’s fraudulent investment projects. As part of the bribery scheme, Ma used Hu’s name and reputation to attract investors to Ma’s fraudulent schemes.

On April 6, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Ma, charging him with one count each of conspiracy to cultivate, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B); discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A); and use of a firearm causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j).  On October 11, 2018, the grand jury handed down a superseding indictment adding one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 666, 1343, and 1346. In finding Hu guilty of all charges, the jury found that Ma’s conspiracy included the intent to possess 100 or more marijuana plants, that he discharged his gun in connection with his drug trafficking crimes, and that he murdered Kong and Chen with malice aforethought and premeditation.  

Judge Breyer scheduled Ma’s sentencing for February 12, 2020.  Ma faces the following maximum statutory sentences:

  • Conspiracy to cultivate and distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana: maximum term of forty years imprisonment, maximum fine of $5,000,000, at least four years, but up to lifetime, supervised release. (Mandatory minimum prison term of five 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.)
  • Bribery:  maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment, maximum $250,000 fine, maximum three years of supervised release.

However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court 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 Christiaan Highsmith and William Frentzen are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Meegan, Kimberly Richardson, Morgan Byrne, and Lance Libatique. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Justice, and Oakland Police Department.

Updated November 7, 2019