A former Olmsted County employee accused of identity theft pleaded guilty to three charges last week.
Kanong Alsen Vang, 31, pleaded guilty in Olmsted County District Court to three felony counts of identity theft. The three charges are in three cases. Vang was facing charges in a total of five cases.
All of those cases involved allegations of identity theft. She was employed with the county’s Human Resources Department from February 2016 to Oct. 16, 2018.
Two of the five cases are likely to be dismissed as part of a plea deal. In those two cases she faced two misdemeanor charges and a gross misdemeanor charge.
A plea agreement filed with the court on Nov. 1 indicated that Vang may receive a stay of imposition of the sentence and be ordered to pay restitution to Mayo Credit Union and Wells Fargo. She may also be ordered to pay restitution directly to at least three alleged victims. A 120-day jail sentence may also be ordered as well as up to five years of probation, according to court records.
Rochester Police executed a search warrant at Vang’s home on Nov. 7, 2018.
Officers found Vang’s husband, Shoua Yang, in an upstairs bathroom tearing up Minnesota temporary driver’s licenses and trying to flush them down the toilet, court records state.
Vang reportedly told police that “everything was her” and that her husband had nothing to do with it. Vang told police she made the IDs on a Word Document, according to court documents.
Yang pleaded guilty in Olmsted County District Court to a charge of felony identity theft. A felony charge of theft by swindle was dismissed. Judge Lisa Hayne sentenced Yang to five years supervised probation. Yang was also given a 29-day jail sentence, which he already served, according to court records. The sentence is a stay of imposition, which means if Yang completes all the conditions during probation, his sentence could be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Vang's plea hearing was held over two days, Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 before Judge Debra Jacobson.
On Friday, Jacobson asked why Yang did it.
Yang responded that she enjoyed her job with the county but was trying to get away from her husband of 16 years. Yang said her husband tormented her and her children and was only ever happy on payday. She said she was forced to figure out how to get money for him so her and her children would be OK.
Vang is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Pamela King on Jan. 6.