Charges: Charity worker from Woodbury stole 300 identities

He used the accounts to pay for goods, services, and even unemployment arrears.
Author:
Publish date:

A worker for a homeless charity has been charged with stealing the identities of more than 300 people in the Twin Cities.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced that Hai Jay Phu Vu, 53, of Woodbury, has been charged with identity theft and obtaining unemployment benefits through false representation.

The thefts were carried out while he worked at House of Charity, a Minneapolis nonprofit helping the homeless, from which he was fired for disciplinary reasons in February 2017.

After he was fired, he applied for unemployment benefits – wrongly telling the state that he hadn't received any severance money – and proceeded to get into overdrafts on his unemployment account.

Each time, he would pay off the overdraft from different bank accounts, which state investigators then found belonged to five donors to the House of Charity, whose accounts had also been used by Vu to pay for insurance and private school fees.

It emerged that he had taken the donors' personal information while he worked at House of Charity, and then applied for credit cards, bought goods and made withdrawals from their accounts.

Further investigation revealed he'd taken financial information from more than 300 donors.

"We have found that the frequency of identity theft is greatly increasing," Orput said. "It is important for us all to guard our personal information zealously. The potential fallout in failing to do so can be economically disastrous for the victims."

Next Up

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.

vaccine

It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.

covid

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas students robbed by suspects in ski masks

Nobody was injured in the early Saturday incident.

Related

Charges: Twin Cities pharmacist stole 20,000 pills

The pharmacist fiddled with inventory records to achieve the thefts, charges say.

After returning stolen items, Lakeville principal charged again

Christopher Endicott is already facing burglary and stalking charges.

University of minnesota sign

Charges: U of M employee stole computers, sold them for profit

He spent $134,000 of university money on the computers.

Charges: Hugo man shared nude pic of ex on Snapchat

He's been charged under Minnesota's 'revenge porn' law.