The case against
Chow was connected to a criminal sweep that ended the storied
political career of a California state senator with allegations
of bribery and gun-running.
In January, the jury found Chow guilty on all counts stemming
from charges that he ran a criminal organization that dealt
drugs and laundered money. He was sentenced to life in prison on
two of more than 100 counts, Justice Department spokesman
Abraham Simmons said.
Chow's attorney, Matthew Dirkes, said Chow plans to appeal.
"Mr. Chow's belief is that during the trial process he wasn’t
afforded all of the rights that our system entitles criminal
defendants to," Dirkes said. "He by no means views this as the
conclusion of anything and he absolutely maintains his
Chow was accused of being the so-called dragonhead of
Chinatown's Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese fraternal organization
that federal agencies suspect has a criminal component,
according to an indictment.
U.S. prosecutors contended Chow ordered the 2006 murder of Chee
Kung Tong official Allen Leung in Leung's import/export shop in
a dispute over money.
During trial a prosecutor told jurors that Chow ordered Leung's
death and led other criminal activity "like something straight
out of 'The Godfather'."
In addition to witness testimony, the government played several
recorded conversations for the jury in which Chow accepted money
from an undercover FBI agent for purported illegal activity.
Chow was arrested in 2014 with several others including Leland
Yee, a former Democratic state senator who pleaded guilty to
racketeering. In February, Yee received a five-year prison
sentence in the corruption case.
Chow is a longtime fixture in San Francisco's Chinatown. In 2000
he testified against his former gang and served a prison
sentence. His lawyers said he reformed after his release from
prison but prosecutors alleged he assumed power in Chinatown and
directed criminal activity.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Bill
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