One of the twenty defendants charged in an FBI sting against a reputed Chinatown boss in San Francisco and a state senator said an FBI agent was removed from the case because of financial improprieties.
Lawyers for defendant Keith Jackson filed court papers Thursday saying wiretap records revealed that the unidentified FBI agent showed “outrageous” behavior in the sting, including lavishing the probe’s targets with tens of thousands of dollars for lawful actions, the AP reported.
Jackson is a former San Francisco school board president and fundraiser for state Sen. Leland Yee.
Yee pleaded not guilty in early August to racketeering while campaigning to be San Francisco mayor and California secretary of state.
He was arrested in late March in an FBI sting targeting him and alleged Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, as well as more than two dozen others.
The AP said,
The FBI agent removed from the case by the FBI also “initiated discussions of guns sales, offered to facilitate a drug transaction, and solicited Mr. Jackson to assist with an alleged murder for hire of a fictitious victim,” the filing states.
Jackson’s court filing Thursday said a footnote in a 2012 wiretap request cited an FBI review “related to the financing and financial record-keeping” by the agent in the Chinatown sting.
“A second wiretap request in 2013 revealed that the internal FBI probe resulted in the agent being removed from the sting operation,” the AP said.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty to charges of gun-trafficking and public corruption.
“FBI agents gave Jackson tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees and other payments for lawful actions as part of a wide-ranging effort to entrap him and others,” his lawyers argued.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.