VCSU Professor Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property

By: 
Heidi Harris
News Editor

A Valley City State University professor was arrested Tuesday after a tip led police to find hundreds of credit cards and electronics in his Valley City apartment.

According to a release from Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson, Long Man Ram Lau, 33, assistant professor in the Social Science Department at VCSU, faces charges of unauthorized use of personal information and possession of stolen property.

Thompson said more than 200 credit cards and gift cards in various names were found Tuesday afternoon in a Valley City apartment alleged to be rented by Lau. Police seized the cards along with multiple computers, electronic storage devices, suspected counterfeit merchandise and medicines and a large amount of financial paperwork.

Police later searched Lau's office at VCSU, where they found and seized more credit cards and gift cards, computers and electronic storage devices.

Lau was arrested and transported to the Barnes County Corrections Center Tuesday.

On Friday, March 18, an anonymous tipster gave police photos of a large number of credit cards with various names. The photos were allegedly taken at 324 Sixth Avenue Southwest, Apt. 4.

On Tuesday afternoon, the VCPD obtained a search warrant and searched the apartment with the assistance of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security.

Valley City State University President Tisa Mason said in a statement Wednesday, "Valley City State University is cooperating fully with law enforcement personnel in their investigation."

She said Lau, who has taught economics courses at VCSU since fall 2012, has been placed on administrative leave and is denied access to campus and computer services and networks. Courses taught by Lau will be covered by other VCSU faculty members.

"Because of the nature of the charges, I recommend that you monitor your financial statements regularly for any unfamiliar activity and report any irregularities to appropriate authorities immediately," Mason said.
Thompson said, "There is a significant amount of follow-up investigation that needs to happen with this case. The forensic examinations of the computers and electronic storage devices alone will take months. VCPD will be working with both NDBCI and ICE in this effort. Part of this effort will be to locate and contact all of the individuals on the various media."

Thompson said additional charges for Lau are expected.

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the VCPD at (701) 845-3110.

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