Shrimp Boy's Lawyers: It's a Hollywood crime

Lawyers in the Leland Yee corruption scandal say the charges against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow came out of Hollywood.
April 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
On Thursday during a press conference, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow's lawyers, friends and supporters portrayed the reputed Chinatown gang leader as a reformed man and a community activist who helped troubled teens straighten their lives. State Sen. Leland Yee and Chow are both facing charges as part of a political corruption case.

Now, it's pretty obvious what Chow's defense will be -- government misconduct. Chow's attorneys said the FBI investigation came out of Hollywood and that they were all fake charges designed to ensnare him.

"He's been a target for a decade and nothing. Nothing has ever risen to a level of criminal activity," said defense lawyer Tony Serra.

The attorneys read quotes from the FBI affidavits, quotes they claimed showed that Chow resisted doing anything illegal.

"When that FBI undercover agent suggested dealing heroin, Raymond Chow said emphatically, 'No,'" said defense lawyer Curtis Briggs.

Chow's supporters also spoke of his transformation from bad to good. Eli Crawford was once in the same prison as Chow. When he got his freedom, he worked with Chow to keep kids from going into gangs.

"Raymond took every opportunity he could of doing the right thing. And not only just him doing the right thing, he passed it on," said Crawford.

Rudy Corpuz is also works in gang intervention. He said, "He made an effective impact on changing a lot of youths' lives."

They all said what Chow himself has been saying. In an interview with ABC7 News two years ago, Chow says he became a new man after serving nearly two decades in prison for gang related activities.

In 2012, Chow said, "I want to do something for the kids. I want to do something for my community. I want to do something for myself."

He became the head of the Chi Kung Tong, the Chinese Freemasons, after his predecessor was shot and killed. That murder is still unsolved.

Chow became active in the Chinese community and he worked with at-risk kids. However, there were still many skeptics who questioned just how much the former gangster had changed, especially the cops who had chased him for years.

"Once you get involved in the gangs, it is very difficult to extract yourself from that system," said Former SFPD Sgt. Nelson Lum back in 2012.

Federal prosecutors obviously agree. They've charged him with running an organized crime ring in Chinatown and dealing in stolen property and laundering more than $2 million. Chow will be back in court on Friday, where he's expected to enter a plea.


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