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Press Release

Minnesota Temporary Agency Owner Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Failing To Pay Taxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald today announced the sentencing of MAI NHIA VUE, 47, to 38 months in federal prison for failing to pay payroll taxes. VUE pleaded guilty on May 16, 2018, to one count of willful failure to pay payroll taxes and was sentenced on November 27, 2018, by Judge Wilhelmina Wright, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, VUE owned and operated Five Star Workforce Solutions (Five Star), which provided temporary contract employees to businesses in Minnesota. As part of Five Star’s contracts with its client businesses, Five Star was responsible for collecting and paying the payroll taxes from the employees, which included the federal withholding taxes, social security, and Medicare withholdings.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, during the tax years of 2014, 2015, and 2016, VUE created two sets of accounting books and paid payroll taxes for some employees but did not pay any payroll taxes for other employees, despite charging Five Star clients consistent rates between the two sets of employees. Additionally, VUE did not pay the employer’s portion of social security and Medicare taxes.

According to documents filed in court, VUE failed to pay nearly $2 million under this scheme, which should have gone to the IRS. VUE spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxury travel, gambling, gold, and the construction and furnishing of a new home.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald thanked the special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division who investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lewis, who prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:


Lake Elmo, Minn.


  • Willful Failure To Pay Payroll Taxes, 1 count


  • 38 months incarceration
  • 3 years supervised release
  • $1,820,331 in restitution to the IRS




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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600


Updated November 28, 2018