Feds’ Request to Seal Chow Motion ‘Futile’

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge said it would be a “futile act” to seal a motion to dismiss and related exhibits filed by attorneys for accused Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
     The government asked U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer to seal a motion to dismiss for selective prosecution and related exhibits filed by Chow’s legal team on Tuesday, saying the documents revealed information sealed under a protective order.
     The scathing motion to dismiss filed by J. Tony Serra, Curtis Briggs and Greg Bentley said the FBI unfairly targeted the former Chinatown gangster in a racketeering probe but allowed San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to get away with taking bribes from undercover agents.
     Their document also says Chow was selectively targeted because of his association with the Ghee Kong Tong, described by Chow’s lawyers as the “Chinese Free Masons.”
     Chow is charged with laundering gambling and drug money from an FBI agent posing as a member of New Jersey mob syndicate La Cosa Nostra. He was arrested along with 27 other defendants after a years-long undercover investigation, and is scheduled to go to trial in October.
     On Friday, Breyer issued an order saying that to seal the documents at this point “would serve no useful purpose.”
     He wrote, “These documents are available on the Internet and have been widely publicized. The court will not engage in a futile act.”
     But Breyer added that he will address whether Chow’s attorneys acted inappropriately by making the documents publicly accessible at a hearing on Aug. 27.

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