Oakland man convicted of 2013 double murder in Mendocino County
An Oakland man accused of executing a Bay Area couple in a minivan loaded with marijuana outside Fort Bragg has been convicted of murder, drug dealing and bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Wing Wo Ma, 53, was found guilty by a federal jury after a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Known as “Fat Mark,” Ma shot Jim Tat Kong, 51, of San Pablo, and Cindy Bao Feng Chen, 38, of San Francisco, in their minivan Oct. 17, 2013.
Ma had been borrowing money from Kong for several business ventures, including a marijuana grow and a real estate scheme in Mendocino County, federal prosecutors said. When Ma realized he wouldn’t be able to pay Kong back, he feared retaliation. He met with the couple on Chen’s birthday and, while seated in the car, shot each of them execution-style, with a single bullet to the head.
Ma left their bodies and packages of marijuana in the minivan, which was parked in a dirt pullout off Highway 20, outside Fort Bragg. The dead couple was found later that day by a group of off-road bikers, who called 911 when they saw blood in the car.
“The jury’s verdict makes clear that Wing Wo Ma will answer for the brutal killings of Jim Tat Kong and Cindy Bao Feng Chen,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said in a statement. “The verdict also ensures that Ma’s personal crime wave, including murder, drug distribution, bribery, and conspiracy, has come to an end.”
Ma’s conviction is separate from the investigation into the infamous San Francisco gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was convicted by a federal jury in 2016 of conspiring to kill Kong. The FBI described Kong as a major figure in the Chinese-American criminal underworld, and suspected that he was one of Chow’s rivals.
Chow was sentenced to life in prison for 162 counts, including conspiring to have Kong killed, but Chow was not a prime suspect in the 2013 murder. Prosecutors never presented evidence showing Chow was connected to Kong’s death, which left open the possibility that he didn’t succeed in having Kong killed and the 2013 shooting was unrelated.
Ma also was convicted of bribing Harry Hu, an inspector who worked for the Alameda County District Attorney and a former lieutenant in the Oakland Police Department. Evidence presented at the trial showed that Ma bribed Hu with airfare for multiple trips to Las Vegas, free accommodation at high-end hotel rooms at Las Vegas casinos, concert tickets, use of a new Mercedes Benz and labor costs to remodel Hu’s house. Ma used these bribes in an effort to protect himself from prosecution and investigation, both by Hu and other law enforcement agencies.
To pay for the bribes, Ma collected money from his criminal associates. He told those associates that Hu was an investor in his fraudulent investment projects, using Hu’s name and reputation to attract more investors to his own schemes. Hu pleaded guilty in October 2018 to taking bribes from Ma.
The federal jury also found Ma guilty of conspiring to cultivate, distribute and possess marijuana with the intent to distribute.
Ma is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 12. He faces a maximum term of life in prison.
You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.