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Woodbury man pleads guilty to over 300 identity thefts

Hai Jay Phu Vu

STILLWATER — A Woodbury man pleaded guilty to identity theft charges of over 300 victims and two counts of unlawfully securing unemployment benefits.

Hai Jay Phu Vu, 53, a former employee at Minneapolis-nonprofit House of Charity, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court July 16.

According to the criminal complaint:

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development investigators originally investigating unemployment benefits found other strange transactions in Vu's account.

He was fired in February 2017 for "disciplinary issues" from his job as an accountant at House of Charity. On unemployment benefit documents, he listed that he had been laid off and had not received severance pay, resulting in $11,500 of benefits he didn't qualify for.

DEED investigators found that the other transactions had come from donors he had access to in his work for House of Charity that he did not have permission to use. Using a search warrant, they found that Vu had credit reports, checks, electronic banking information, bank statements, a birth certificate and rental applications. One victim had credit cards and a DirectTV bill in his name.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17.