Reports have indicated that federal agents have spent over $1 million while investigating alleged racketeering (federal racketeering) by an organization in San Francisco's Chinatown. Federal agents reportedly used the money to wine and dine their suspects with food and beverages at luxury hotels and restaurants. The expenses were found in the discovery evidence provided by the prosecutors in the case against Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow and others who were charged after a lengthy investigation.
A whopping $1.08 million was expended as of June 2015. These government funds were used by undercover agents to stay at luxury hotels and take Chow and his accomplices out to expensive restaurants where the agents paid for everything with tax dollars.
Some of the luxurious places the government took the suspects were to the Four Seasons, Fairmont, and Ritz Carlton hotels, as well as Morton's Steakhouse among several other high-end restaurants. Including personnel expenses and costs, the government was spending millions of dollars on this operation.
These expenditures may not undermine the charges against Chow and Yun, yet it does show that the alleged crimes were contrived fully by the government and could possibly lay the groundwork for an entrapment defense.
The evidence that has surfaced from the prosecution “makes plain that the government's heavily funded multiyear investigation of (Chow's organization), rather than uncovering crimes, was largely spent creating them,” said one defense attorney. The evidence supports an argument that the federal agents entrapped the defendants into committing crimes they did not truly intend to commit.
It has been argued that the evidence also shows that Chow never asked for or intentionally took money from an undercover agent, but had money forced upon him over his objection, often after the federal agent had spent tax payer dollars on getting Chow intoxicated.
Chow had previously served prison time for gang activities, but said he had reformed himself and has been working with troubled youth in San Francisco.