SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A former associate of Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow from Las Vegas has been indicted on charges of participating in the 2006 murder of Chow’s predecessor as the leader of a Chinatown tong.
Wen Bing Lei, 50, of Las Vegas, also known as Raymond Lei or as “Skinny Raymond,” was charged by a federal grand jury with one count of murder in aid of racketeering of Chee Kung Tong civic association leader Allen Leung.
If he is convicted, the crime carries mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
Chow, who succeeded Leung as the dragonhead or leader of the tong, was convicted last year in federal court in San Francisco of the same crime.
He was also found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to murder another rival, money laundering and conspiring to transport stolen goods.
Chow was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Neither Chow nor Lei were accused of pulling the trigger against Leung, who was fatally shot by a masked gunman in his office on Feb. 27, 2006. But they were charged with responsibility for the murder by causing and aiding the crime.
Lei’s indictment alleges that his purpose in participating in the murder was “to maintain and increase his position in the Chee Kung Tong.”
Lei is currently in federal custody on other charges, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Abraham Simmons. He is due to make an initial appearance on the murder charge before a federal magistrate in San Francisco on Tuesday.
The indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint filed against Lei on Dec. 4, 2015, about a month after Chow’s trial began. The complaint charged Lei with threatening or conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years upon conviction.
An affidavit filed with the complaint by FBI agent Michael Ward alleged that Lei “was attempting to fulfill his duties of finding the shooter in the overall plan to kill Leung.”
Ward wrote that Lei had hoped to become the new dragonhead, and that although Chow ended up taking the position, Lei’s status in the tong improved once Chow took over. Lei served below Chow in the hierarchy until the two had a falling out, according Ward.