New charge in San Francisco Chinatown case

AP Wire Service

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California state senator charged in a sweeping organized crime and public corruption case centered in San Francisco’s Chinatown faced a new charge Friday of racketeering.

A federal grand jury filed the additional charge against Leland Yee, accusing him of taking bribes in exchange for votes in favor of several legislative bills.

Also charged with racketeering was Raymond Chow. The grand jury called a Chinese-American association that Chow headed, the Ghee Kung Tong, a racketeering enterprise. Chow previously pleaded not guilty to money laundering and other charges.

Yee also is accused of accepting bribes and attempting to connect an undercover FBI agent with an arms dealer in exchange for cash. He has pleaded not guilty.

A call to Yee’s attorney for comment on the additional charge was not immediately returned.

Yee was arrested along with 19 others in March during raids throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The arrests were the culmination of an FBI investigation started in 2006, after Chow left prison and was elected “dragonhead” of the Ghee Kung Tong. The FBI says undercover agents laundered $2.6 million in cash purportedly garnered through illegal bookmaking through the organization. (end)

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