Carlton County Seeks Answers for a Nearly Million Dollar Theft

By KBJR News 1

September 23, 2013 Updated Sep 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM CST

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

Carlton County employee Joanne Wappes is accused of stealing nearly a million dollars over a period of 30 years.

Now county residents want to know how it could have gone on so long.

Wappes, employed by the Carlton County Transfer District, allegedly gave false receipts to customers and transferred part of the transaction money into her personal account.

"So one might ask how would one not know that you have a large volume coming out but you're not billing for a large portion coming in as per what's showing us on the till, but what you'd basically be measuring against is what that person has had the weeks before and if it's the same person... you might not notice that,",says Dennis Generau Carlton County Coordinator.

The case is currently focusing on the alleged theft Wappes may have committed to the county however, many Carlton residents say Wappes was consistently rude and wrongfully charged them on numerous occasions.

"She was never friendly, never. The prices on stuff always fluctuated. I could bring three cans in it was eight dollars one time it was twelve dollars another," says Ken Theison a station customer.

"I was thinking 40 dollars for a truck load was a bit too much, after that I just stopped coming here," says Adam Marintdale, a customer that just began re-using the facility today.

The criminal complaint says Wappes manipulated the cash register tape to avoid suspicion.

Now, the county is working to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"The county undertaking to make sure that every step and every caution that can be taken is taken," Generau informs.

Officials say nothing suspicious came to light until the county reviewed surveillance cameras.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com