Former College Bookstore Manager Accused of Stealing Thousands

Former College Bookstore Manager Accused of Stealing Thousands
By: Crystal Britt
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - It's a real shock at a Heartland community college.  The longtime bookstore manager ends up behind bars.

Police arrested 47-year-old Janeane Correll of Poplar Bluff.  She's accused of stealing more than $130,000 from Three Rivers Community College over the course of five years.  School leaders though say it might more than that, they just don't have the means to trace back past 2003. Now, the college is working to make sure it never happens again.

"I think it's really not fair to the community to the people who go here to try and work hard to get their degrees," said student Jackie Huitt.
It's the talk on campus.  How could the bookstore manager allegedly steal so much money and get away with it for five years?
"I was like wow, oh my gosh," said Huitt. 
The past couple of audits at Three Rivers showed something was wrong. The school made changes, but after another audit officials got concerned. 
"We saw some irregularities.  We kept looking at that.  We did inventory in June.  It really sparked red flags," said Robbie Myers, Vice President of Administrative and Governmental Affairs.

That's when trouble began for former bookstore manager Janeane Correll.

"She was out on leave when we confronted her with initial evidence.  She resigned at that point in time," said Myers. 
The evidence is in a 40 page audit.  It shows how the business office would get requests for funds to cover refunds or "buybacks." 
"That wasn't happening.  No one came in and bought a book.  It was just a fraudulent paper trail, a fake transaction for reimbursement that never happened," said Myers. 
It caught the other bookstore workers off guard.
"It just kinda comes back and hits you in the face.  It's pretty surprising," said Keith Aldridge, the assistant bookstore manager. 
"To me it was like, that much money, it's pretty hard to see how that much could disappear in a few years," said Tammy Cosgrove, Correll's replacement. 
Now, the school's making sure there's a paper trail, and every refund or "buyback" is documented.
"We're trying to keep people honest and that the money is going where it's supposed to be going," said Myers.
Three Rivers Community College has filed an insurance claim, and hopes to get back all the money it lost.  Meanwhile, Janeane Correll is out of jail on bond.  Heartland News was unable to reach her for comment.