Two men sentenced to life imprisonment in murder-for-hire of perceived business rival at Flushing karaoke club

Qing Ming Yu and Zhe Zang are convicted of murder for hire for a 2019 fatal shooting at a Flushing karaoke bar.
Photo courtesy of EDNY

The president of a Manhattan-based construction company and a California man were sentenced to life in prison in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday for orchestrating the murder of a businessman at a Flushing karaoke bar in 2019.

Qing Ming “Allen” Yu, 55, of Oyster Bay, and Zhe “Zack” Zhang, 35, of Arcadia, Calif., were convicted by a federal jury in October following a two-week trial for the contract killing of 31-year-old Xin “Chris” Gu, who worked at Yu’s company before becoming his business rival. The jury found the defendants guilty of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy for hiring a hitman to gun the victim down outside the Grand Slam KTV bar on Fowler Avenue

“Allen Yu set out to kill Xin Gu because he started a rival business and Zhang agreed to carry out the execution-style murder without hesitation,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “Driven by greed and revenge, they hired a hitman to commit the brutal murder of a young man, traumatizing the victim’s family as well as the Flushing community.”

Allen Yu was the president of Amaco, a multi-million dollar construction company that renovated apartments in New York City. As proven at trial, in 2015, Xin Gu joined Amaco as a project manager. Although Amaco’s business nearly quadrupled after he joined the company, Xin Gu became concerned about the company’s financial viability and resigned in 2018 to start his own property development company called KG Management. After Xin Gu’s departure, several clients and employees also cut ties with Qing Ming Yu’s business. Multiple companies took their lucrative projects from Amaco to KG Management, including one project valued at $1 million.

Enraged at Xin Gu’s perceived disloyalty, Qing Ming Yu hired co-conspirators You You and Zhe Zhang to kill Xin Gu in exchange for payment, prosecutors said. Zhang, in turn, hired another co-conspirator, Antony Abreu, to assist in carrying out the murder.

Xin “Chris” Gu was gunned down as he waited for an Uber in front of the Grand Slam KTV karaoke bar in Flushing.

On the evening of Feb. 11, 2019, into the following morning, Xin Gu’s new company hosted a celebration of the Lunar New Year at Lake Pavilion restaurant in Flushing. After that dinner, Xin Gu and a smaller group went to a karaoke bar, Grand Slam KTV on Fowler Avenue. The hit team learned of the party, and with You You acting as a lookout and Zhe Zhang serving as the getaway driver, Abreu allegedly shot the victim multiple times as he waited for an Uber, killing him.

Over the next three months, Qing Ming Yu paid $150,000 to You You for the murder.

“Today’s sentences bring with them some satisfaction to the dedicated investigators who worked on this horrific case and, hopefully, a modicum of relief to the family and friends of the victim,” NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said. “Life in prison is an appropriate outcome for the crimes these men coldly carried out. I commend and thank our NYPD investigators for their meticulous work and our partners at the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for their diligent prosecution.”

Abreu was convicted of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy following a two-week trial in April and is awaiting sentencing. Qing Ming Yu and Zhe Zhang were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to mandatory life imprisonment. As part of the sentence, the defendants were ordered to pay $1,035,000 in restitution to the victim’s family.

“The defendants will spend the rest of their lives behind prison walls for this premeditated murder,” Peace said. “I hope today’s sentences bring some measure of closure to Xin Gu’s family.”

James Smith, the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, was pleased to see justice meted out to close this case.

“Threatened by Xin Gu’s entrepreneurial skills, Allen Yu sought revenge and unwarranted retribution against his former employee. After securing Zhang and a hitman as accomplices to his calculated plot, the trio unjustly ended the life of a promising young businessman,” Smith said. “Today’s lifelong sentences serve as a just punishment for two individuals who deemed cold-blooded murder as an acceptable response for slighted feelings.”