'Shrimp Boy' accuses San Francisco mayor in bid to dismiss case

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The reputed gangster at the center of San Francisco's ongoing bribery and corruption case is pointing the finger at scores of top city leaders, including Mayor Ed Lee. Attorneys for Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow filed a motion Tuesday that claims the FBI has evidence of those officials accepting illegal money, but federal prosecutors refuse to go after them.

The allegations are explosive. Chow's attorney Curtis Briggs say there is audio evidence of pay to play politics by city officials and if prosecutors won't go after the elected officials, they should let Chow go.

"Is the FBI corrupt? Or are politicians corrupt? But I guarantee you it's one or the other," said Briggs.

Chow, along with seven others, will go on trial this fall on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and trafficking drugs and weapons. The charges came after a lengthy federal investigation. Now Chow's attorneys say it was selective prosecution and that FBI documents show San Francisco's mayor should also have been indicted.

"According to the FBI, he sat down with federal agents undercover, he took money from them, his staff took money from them, he was supposedly knowledgeable about what the money was for and he attempted to pay up on the bribe," Briggs said.

VIDEO: San Francisco mayor, city leaders on defensive

Late Tuesday afternoon, Lee fired back, saying the accusations are old and untrue.

"Everybody makes whatever allegations they want to make for the sensationalism," he said. "These things have been thoroughly vetted and as far as I'm concerned, they're warrantless."

But Chow's attorneys say that according to the FBI documents, Lee and at least half a dozen city officials were involved, with one allegedly telling the FBI that former Mayor Willie Brown told them, "You pay to play here. We got it. We know this. We are the best at this game. Better than New York. We do it a little more sophisticated than New Yorkers and we do it without the mafia."

Chow's lawyer says Supervisor London Breed was named in the FBI documents. She calls allegations against her baseless and says "I'm not angry, it's just very sad."

And Briggs says it's possible the FBI could be wrong.

"I'm not saying the FBI is telling the truth, we might find out that the FBI has completely lied," he said.

ABC7 News reached out to former Mayor Willie Brown, but have not heard back. The U.S. Attorney's Office has not commented.
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