Crime

Wing Wo Ma Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2019 Mendocino County Double Homicide

The following is a press release from the Department of Justice:

Wing Wo Ma, a/k/a Mark Ma, a/k/a Fat Mark, was sentenced today to life in prison for murdering Jim Tat Kong and his wife Cindy Bao Feng Chen, in Mendocino County, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.

Ma was convicted by a jury on November 7, 2019, on murder and firearms charges, as well as conspiring to distribute drugs, and conspiring to commit honest services fraud and bribery, after a three-week trial.  During the trial, evidence showed that on October 17, 2013, in the vicinity of Fort Bragg, California, Ma, 53, of Oakland, shot and killed Kong and Chen while the couple was seated in their minivan in a secluded, wooded area off of a county road.  The evidence showed that Ma had borrowed money from Kong for several failed business ventures, including a marijuana grow and a real estate scheme in Mendocino County.  Fearing retribution from Kong upon finding himself unable to repay the money, Ma met with Kong and Chen on Chen’s birthday at the site of one of Ma’s purported marijuana grows. While seated in the car, Ma shot each of the victims with a single gunshot to the head and then left their bodies in the minivan parked in a secluded, wooded area in Mendocino County.   Ma left three cigarette butts at the scene of the murder, from which investigators later found Ma’s DNA.

The evidence at trial showed that while engaging in his schemes, Ma for years had also developed a corrupt relationship with Harry Hu, a former Oakland Police Department lieutenant and Alameda County District Attorney investigator.  According to evidence presented at trial, since at least 2008, Ma bribed Hu with airfare for multiple trips to Las Vegas, free accommodation at high-end suites and hotel rooms at Las Vegas casinos, meals and entertainment in Las Vegas and San Francisco, female hostesses at private room bars in Las Vegas and San Francisco, music concert tickets, use of a new Mercedes Benz, and labor for the remodel of Hu’s personal residence.  In exchange for these bribes, evidence at trial showed that Hu protected Ma from numerous law enforcement investigations.  Indeed, evidence presented at trial showed that Ma met with Hu shortly after Ma murdered Kong and Chen, and that Hu then sought to mislead the murder investigation by withholding his belief that Ma was involved.

At sentencing, prosecutors called for a life sentence, noting Ma had shown no remorse whatsoever for his premediated killing of Kong and Chen, nor his corruption of Hu.  The sentencing judge, the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District judge, concurred, describing Ma’s murder of Kong and Chen as a “cold-blooded assassination.”   Ma was immediately remanded into custody.

Assistant United States Attorneys Christiaan Highsmith and William Frentzen are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Meegan, Kimberly Richardson, Morgan Byrne, and Lance Libatique. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Justice, and Oakland Police Department.

Further Information:

Case #: 3:15-CR-00529-CRB

A copy of this press release will be placed on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Abraham Simmons or Waqar Hasib at (415) 436-7200 or by e-mail at Abraham.Simmons@usdoj.gov or Waqar.Hasib@usdoj.gov.

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