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Press Release

Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder And Various Racketeering Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Kwok Cheung Chow, AKA Raymond Chow, AKA Ha Jai, AKA Shrimp Boy was sentenced today to life in prison following his convictions for racketeering, murder, money laundering, and conspiracy charges, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael Batdorf.   The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, United States District Judge.

Chow, 55, of San Francisco, served as the Dragonhead, or leader, of the San Francisco-based Chee Kung Tong organization.  On January 8, 2016, a federal jury found Chow guilty of criminal activities in connection with the racketeering organization and additional conspiracies.  In all, Chow was charged with 162 counts including 125 counts of money laundering, aiding and abetting the laundering of proceeds of narcotics sales, conspiring to deal in illegal sales of goods (including 50 cases of Hennessey XO and 27 cases of Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whiskey), and engaging in the illegal sale of cigarettes (over 10,000).  Chow originally was charged with various racketeering related crimes in a criminal complaint filed March 24, 2015.  The complaint charged that the purposes of the organization included the illegal trafficking of controlled substances, extortion, and participation in the collection of illegal debts.  On October 15, 2015, the charges were formally amended in a Third Superseding Indictment to include murder. Chow was charged with and convicted of arranging the murder of Allen Leung and conspiring with others to murder Jim Tat Kong. The jury found Chow guilty of every one of the 162 charges leveled against him.

In sentencing Chow, Judge Breyer said, “The murder in this case [of Mr. Leung] that requires the life sentence was particularly callous because it was the removal of an obstacle to your ascension to power.  So whether you paid for it, or not, the question is: what is your motivation for doing so? And your motivation for doing so was to take over the leadership role of the tong and corrupt their purposes.” 

“Today, Mr. Chow was sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch.  “We hope that this prosecution and the resulting sentence provides the victims and their families with some measure of satisfaction that Mr. Chow will never again be free to continue with his life of crime.”

“This sentence reflects our commitment to vigorously pursue justice for the victims and community that Mr. Chow preyed off of for so long,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. “We hope that the sentence brings some form of closure for the families of Allen Leung and Jim Tat Kong, and shows that type of greed and violence will not be tolerated.”

“This was a case about power and greed,” said Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “From narcotics trafficking to public corruption and murder, Mr. Chow laundered millions of dollars in drug and other illegal proceeds for a profit.  Today’s sentencing closes the chapter on Mr. Chow’s life of crime.”

In addition to the life term of imprisonment, Judge Breyer also sentenced Chow to pay a special assessment of $16,200, to pay restitution in the amount of $15,881.60, and to forfeit $225,000.  The Judge also issued an order enjoining Chow and others from profiting from his life story.  Chow has been in custody since his arrest on March 26, 2014, and will begin serving his life sentence immediately.   

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Frentzen, Susan Badger, S. Waqar Hasib, and David Countryman prosecuted the case with the assistance of Rosario Calderon, Kurt Kosek, Ana Guerra, Marina Ponomarchuk, Victoria Etterer, Lance Libatique, and Bridget Kilkenny.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Marshal Service, San Francisco Police Department Gang Task Force; Oakland Police Department; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; New York Police Department; Mercer County New Jersey Sheriff's Office; and the San Francisco and Alameda County Sheriff’s Departments.

Updated September 20, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime