Craig woman, business owner charged with theft from 4-H shooting program
A small business owner in Craig is in big trouble after police arrested her over the weekend on felony theft charges.
Janey DeAnne Blackwell, 41, was arrested Saturday, Sept. 28 on a charge of felony theft $2,000 > $5,000.
According to an arrest affidavit drafted by Craig Police Department Officer Will Roland, a Colorado State University extension agent who oversees all of Moffat County’s many 4-H shooting sports disciplines for kids, contacted police in July.
The extension agent told investigators that Blackwell, who took over the shotgun coaching position along with a family member in May 2018, had made more than a dozen withdrawals from June 2018 to July 2019 out of the 4-H shotgun account into Blackwell’s personal account at a bank in Craig.
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The CSU extension agent became suspicious when Blackwell did not allow anyone else the required access to the account.
“4-H requires another signer be on the account, and also requires that a student treasurer be assigned to the account and monitor the account’s expenses,” the affidavit said. “Janey and (a family member) have refused to allow an assistant coach or student treasurer access to the 4-H account.”
The affidavit lists at least 17 different transfers out of the 4-H account and into Blackwell’s, many of them for hundreds of dollars. One of the transfers in August 2018 was for $1,000 for a total of $3,965 that was transferred to Blackwell’s account, according to the affidavit.
The extension agent explained that the 4-H coaches are only supposed to be writing checks and are not supposed to send money by electronic transfer.
The CSU extension agent told police they confronted Blackwell, who became “defensive immediately and then did a good job of avoiding her questions,” the affidavit said.
A few days after the extension agent reported the alleged thefts to police, Blackwell returned to the CSU extension agent and gave back the money she’d allegedly stolen.
The affidavit stated that Blackwell said her business, PackCenter Shipping was “struggling and their business is failing.”
Police then turned to Blackwell, who voluntarily came to Craig’s Public Safety Center for an interview.
Blackwell admitted to having “hard times” and that she was using the 4-H money to pay bills and admitted to police that she “knows what she did was wrong.”
Blackwell told police no one else was involved in the alleged thefts.
When reached Monday, Blackwell said she paid the money back and has retained an attorney to help her.
“The amount was paid in full and my attorney is taking care of this,” Blackwell said in a phone interview Monday.
Blackwell added that she paid the amount in full before stepping down as coach in July.
The CSU extension agent declined to comment when reached Monday.
Blackwell posted a $2,000 surety bond on Saturday, Sept. 28. Her next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8 in Moffat County courtroom No. 2.
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