‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty to racketeering

Raymond Chow

A man prosecutors accuse of heading a crime syndicate based in San Francisco’s Chinatown pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a new charge of racketeering.

Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow entered the plea to a newly filed indictment that includes all the same money laundering and related charges as the previous one.

The new filing says he served as gang leader of a Chinatown community organization that bribed a state senator and laundered money among other crimes.

The new racketeering count alleges that Chow orchestrated a wide range of alleged criminal activity, including the bribing of state Sen. Leland Yee.

Yee is also charged with racketeering in the new indictment in addition to bribery counts. Yee is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday.

Chow has been in custody since his arrest in April along with two dozen others with ties to the community organization he led.

He appeared briefly Wednesday in San Francisco federal court in mustard-yellow jail garb with five other defendants in the sweeping public corruption case.

Outside court, Chow’s attorney J. Tony Serra said there is nothing new in the latest indictment. Serra said Chow is innocent and is being wrongly accused by investigators and prosecutors who don’t believe he has given up his life as a gang leader.

Chow was previously sentenced to 20 years in prison for gang activity and was released after serving less than half of the sentence after testifying against another gang figure.

Since his release from prison, Chow was elected “dragon head” of Ghee Kung Tong, the Chinatown community organization.

“He was a gangster, so to speak, in his past,” Serra said. “But then he went straight.”

Serra said Chow intends to testify at his trial, which has not been scheduled.

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