Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Vangyee Leng Yang, age 40, formerly of Fridley, was sentenced today to 365 days in jail by Judge Tim Wermager in connection with the theft of over $270,000 of housing funds from April, 2016, to May 31, 2018, while he worked as an employee with the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA). Yang was terminated from employment on June 26, 2018. Yang was charged with five counts of Theft by Swindle in November of 2018. He pled guilty to four counts on May 31, 2019. The Judge stayed the execution of 60 months in prison and placed him on probation for a period of 20 years. He also ordered Yang to perform 40 hours of community work service each year for the first five years of his probationary term, pay restitution in the amount of $271,325, pay a fine of $500, and follow the recommendations of the gambling assessment.
In May of 2018, the CDA discovered irregularities with checks, which had been issued to two property management companies identified as Mackey Prime Property LLC (“Mackey LLC") and Twin Cities Star Properties LLC (“Twin Cities LLC"). In reviewing payments made to these companies from April, 2016 to May, 2018, it was determined that they had received assistance checks for CDA clients who were deceased, no longer eligible for assistance, or who were not current CDA clients. In his position as the CDA's software system coordinator, Yang had the ability to create these fraudulent client accounts. A report was made to the Eagan Police Department. The investigation revealed that Yang had registered both companies with the Minnesota Secretary of State and the fraudulent checks were sent to Yang's home address. The fraudulent checks issued to Mackey LLC and Twin Cities LLC were deposited into two separate TCF Bank small business checking accounts, both of which listed Yang as the account holder. The fraudulent checks issued from the CDA totaled $271,325.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. Prior news release is available at County Attorney News Releases. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: “We are pleased to have brought Vangyee Yang to justice for this major financial crime. It is particularly concerning to see a theft of public funds such as this that were intended for those in need."
Backstrom praised Chief Deputy Kathy Keena, who prosecuted the case. Backstrom thanked the Eagan Police Department for their thorough investigation of this incident.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.