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Murder-for-hire trial begins for in revenge slaying of business owners “disloyal” protege

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A convicted drug dealer worked as a paid assassin for a Manhattan property developer, killing a protege-turned-rival in exchange for a high-priced Richard Mille watch, federal prosecutors told a jury Tuesday.

Antony Abreu, 35, faces murder-for-hire charges in the 2019 killing of Xin “Chris” Gu, who was gunned down outside a Queens karaoke bar at the order of his former boss, Qing Ming “Allen” Yu.

Yu ran Amaco, a multimillion-dollar Manhattan property development company that renovated apartments across New York City, and Gu had worked as his project manager before starting his own company. Yu, who was found guilty in October of orchestrating the plot, had Gu killed. His former star employee had poached several workers, and the feds said several clients took their business to Gu. One project had a value of $1 million.

A co-conspirator, pot dealer and Philadelphia real estate developer Zhe Zhang, was also convicted in October.

The developer tasked his nephew to assemble a “kill team,” and Abreu was brought on as “a hired gun who took the life of a man he never met,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Silverberg told a jury in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday.

Antony Abreu
Antony Abreu

“The defendant got a getaway car, got fake West Virginia license plates put on that car, got purple latex gloves for his hands,” Silverberg said. “He sat in his car waiting for hours for the perfect time to strike.”

On Feb. 12, 2019, after Gu threw a Lunar New Year’s shindig for his new company, a masked gunman executed him as he waited for an Uber at the Grand Slam KTV karaoke bar in Flushing, where the after-party took place.

Video surveillance shows the killer walk past Gu then quickly turn around, pull out a gun and rush him from behind. The gunman’s bright purplish-blue surgical glove is visible as he lifts the gun and points it at the back of Gu’s head.

Trial starts for NYC developer accused of ordering death of disloyal employee.
Alleged triggerman Antony Abreu, 35, captured on video before allegedly shooting his victim. (Obtained by Daily News)

Silverberg told the jury that gunman was Abreu, and that he stood over Gu’s fallen body and kept shooting to make sure he was dead.

“The defendant, for taking the life, his cut was a luxury watch,” Silverberg said.

Abreu bragged about the killing afterwards, Silverberg said, and he’s also linked to the crime through text messages, documents, photos and video.

Quin Ming “Allen” Yu

Several of the witnesses in Yu’s trial are expected to make return appearances in Abreu’s, including one of Abreu’s relatives, who bought that vehicle from him days later, and the developer’s nephew, You You, who helped organize the hit and has pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire conspiracy. A retired police sergeant who testified in Yu’s trial about chasing and taking a photo of the fleeing getaway vehicle took the stand again on Tuesday.

Abreu, who’s already serving a 24-year prison sentence for a federal cocaine trafficking conviction in Mississippi, faces a mandatory life sentence if he’s found guilty of murder-for-hire.

But his lawyer, Eylan Schulman, argued that the feds identified the wrong man as the assassin — and contends that the government’s witnesses are lying to stay out of jail.

“There’ll be no physical evidence connecting Antony to the murder of Mr. Chris Gu. No DNA, no fingerprints, no footprints, no murder weapon,” Schulman said. “The government’s case is built on self-interested witnesses who have way too much to gain.”

He also contended that the Richard Mille watch was a fake.

Police at the scene where a man was shot multiple times on 131 Street near Avery Avenue in Flushing on February 12, 2019. The incident occurred just after 2:30AM in the 109 Pct confines. The victim is believed to be an Asian male, likely to expire from his injuries and the shooter was wearing a teal mask and fled in a vehicle with Virginia temporary plates onto the Horace Harding Expressway. The investigation is ongoing. ( Vic Nicastro for New York Daily News )
Police at the scene of shooting in Flushing on February 12, 2019. (Vic Nicastro for New York Daily News)

Abreu operated a “gray car market,” and dealt marijuana, but “selling phony license plates does not make him a murderer,” Schulman said.

Another man, a Bloods member named David “Potato” Yu, pulled the trigger at the behest of his childhood buddy, You, then blamed Abreu to get out from underneath a possible death sentence, Schulman said.

David Yu testified in the October trial as well, where Allen Yu’s defense team tried to make a meal out of how he sent his gang compatriot a link to a video of the shooting and said he “did that.”

Federal agents interrogated David Yu after a two-day drug bender, and pressured him into cooperation, Schulman said Tuesday. Yu pleaded guilty to murder for hire conspiracy, as well as distribution and possession of methamphetamine.

“Needles in his arms, he understood what they meant,” Schulman said. “David Yu could just point a finger at Antony, or he could worry about the needles in his arms that government agents were threatening him with.”

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