CDA worker charged with theft from agency

EAGAN, MN – The Dakota County District Court has issued a nationwide arrest warrant for a former employee of the county’s public housing office suspected of stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from the agency.
   The court Friday issued an arrest warrant and criminal complaint against Vangyee Yang, 39, of 5909 Main St. NE, Fridley. Yang is charged with five counts of felony theft by swindle, according to court records. Police allege Yang, an IT worker at the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) in Eagan, diverted more than $271,325 from the agency over two years. Yang was fired from the agency last June, according to a previous statement by the agency. Officials have not commented about the complaint released Friday and gave no explanation for the more than four-month delay in bringing charges against Yang.
   CDA officials did not respond to a request for comment Friday. The agency has posted a notice that the office is closed for a three-day weekend and staff won’t return to work until Tuesday.
   The charges are the latest in a series of reported frauds involving CDA funds. In late October, a 27-year-old woman was charged with theft after investigators discovered she had been receiving public welfare rental assistance from the CDA while she was allegedly driving a Maserati sports car and making a living selling heroin with her roommate.
   In the criminal complaint released Friday, investigators allege Yang used his position as a software system coordinator at the CDA to set up accounts and send checks to his home and other addresses. Yang was hired by the CDA in 2014 and promoted, within a year and a half, to the system coordinator position, which gave him access to CDA computer systems and authorization to set up accounts.
   In May 2018, the CDA discovered rental assistance checks had been sent to two property management companies for welfare recipients that were dead or no longer eligible. The checks sent to the property management companies were deposited into  TCF small business bank accounts owned by Yang, according to the complaint.
   The CDA’s discovery of the missing funds occurred more than a year after the bulk of the money was diverted, according to information contained in the criminal complaint. The issuance of a nationwide warrant, rather than limiting arrest to the state, indicates Yang might no longer be in Minnesota.

Eagan shoplifting sprees continue

   EAGAN, MN – In another apparent case of shoplifting rings at work in Eagan, police arrested two people after store security reported them stuffing merchandise into their clothing.
   Kenya Marie Radcliffe-Alexander, 27, of 899 Edgerton St., St. Paul, was charged with felony theft in connection with a Nov. 14 report of shoplifting at a local mall, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint. Investigators allege Radcliffe-Alexander was one of three people who concealed merchandise beneath their clothing as store security watched, then left the store without paying for the items. A second member of the alleged group, Darcy Lewis, 29, of 4742 Dupont Ave. N., Minneapolis, was also charged with a single count of felony theft.
   The third suspect gave a statement to police that she had gone to the store with her brother and sister after another man told her “he would pay for her son’s ticket to Indiana if she got him some clothing from the store,” according to a criminal complaint.
   Radcliffe-Alexander was previously charged for a similar theft last May, as she allegedly worked with a team four other women removing merchandise from a store at the Eagan outlet mall, according to a criminal complaint. She has a record that includes more than 40 theft, motor vehicle, assault, littering, and other charges, according to court records.
            In another recent case, a Minneapolis man was charged with felony theft after Eagan police allegedly discovered merchandise and burglary tools in his car as he drove away from a local mall after a store employee reported shoplifting.
   Benjamin Hunter, 49, of 3024 31st Ave. S., Minneapolis, was charged with two felonies: possession of burglary tools and theft over $500; and a gross misdemeanor, providing false information to police, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint.
   Eagan police were called to an unspecified shopping center at about 6:15 p.m. Nov. 10 after a security alarm sounded at the store. Police found a car fitting a witness’s description on Nichols Road near Silver Bell Road. The car was stopped after police detected what appeared to be a false inspection sticker on the car.
   During a search of the car, police allegedly found a bag containing about $1,000 worth of clothes with security sensors attached. Police also allegedly found a tool to remove security sensors.

Alleged shooting threat prompts lockdown

HASTINGS, MN – An Eagan man whose alleged threats caused his former employer to lock down the business was released from jail Tuesday on $75,000 bail with conditions.
   Jeremy Listerud, 42, of 4395 Robert Trail South, Eagan, was charged with felony threats of violence as a result of a Nov. 8 social media post, according to court records. The prosecution concealed the name of the Eagan business Listerud allegedly threatened.
   Eagan police allege Listerud posted a response to a comment on social media saying “what happened to me … in Eagan, MN today deserves a shooting too. The firing of someone with a $12.50/hr income so managers can do the bar scene and still have holiday gifts is selfish. I am about ready to do the mass shooting since I am losing mybplace [sic] to live in a few weeks for some [expletive deleted] in management in the Eagan, MN [name of business concealed] to go up on incomes”
   Eagan police notified the business of the comment, which prompted the business’s corporate office to order a lockdown and station armed security at the site. A manager told police the suspect had been “released…from his employment” the day before “after concerns with how Listerud was behaving at the workplace.”
   Eagan police spoke to Listerud at his home, according to court records. Police reported Listerud “denied intending to harm anyone” and claimed the statement was taken out of context.
   The Dakota County district court ordered Listerud to surrender weapons as a condition of bail.