State senator popular among Fil-Ams arrested on corruption charges
• California State Senator Leland Yee allegedly solicited $10,000 from undercover agent
• Arrest shocks Asians, including Filipinos
• Former Chinese gang leader also in custody
SAN FRANCISCO, California — Federal officials arrested California State Senator Leland Yee on March 26 on public corruption charges, wire fraud and conspiracy to deal firearms.
Yee’s arrest came as a shock to many Asian Americans, including Filipinos, who supported his electoral campaigns.
An FBI affidavit outlined the charges in support of a criminal complaint against Yee and 25 other people.
Yee allegedly solicited $10,000 from an undercover operative to help retire a $70,000 debt he acquired during a failed run for mayor of San Francisco in 2011.
Yee is running this year for secretary of state, the official that oversees elections and campaign finance reporting.
Also arrested was Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who faces charges of money laundering, conspiracy to receive and transport stolen property and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.
The FBI arrested Yee during a series of raids in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Raided were Yee’s office in Sacramento and the offices of Ghee Kung Tong, a Masonic organization in San Francisco’s Chinatown that Chow reportedly headed.
Yee, 65, represents western San Francisco and much of San Mateo County. He was honored last week by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his efforts to strengthen open public records, government transparency and whistleblower protection laws.
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