Prosecutors said Monday that 54-year-old Denise Rea Barner of Rolla pleaded guilty to access device fraud.

Prosecutors said Monday that 54-year-old Denise Rea Barner of Rolla pleaded guilty to access device fraud.  Court documents say Barner worked from 1991 through February 2016 for the Robert L. Kyle Center for Semi-Independent Living in Rolla, a residential treatment facility for people with mental and developmental disabilities.

According to Rick Kyle, the administrator for the Robert L. Kyle Center, Barner was hired in 1991 in a secretarial position. She was later promoted to the administration in 2004.

The center learned of Barner’s fraud after she resigned in 2016. It was discovered that misappropriation of Kyle Center funds had occurred, which was traced back to Barner following a thorough investigation by the Rolla Police Department. Investigators discovered Barner had allegedly inappropriately removed funds from the Kyle Center bank accounts for personal transactions, according to Rick Kyle.

Federal prosecutors say the transactions began occurring in 2007, and were made using the organization’s debit cards. Barner also allegedly made ATM withdrawals in addition to her purchases. The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis says the center lost between $95,000 and $150,000.

Rick Kyle released the following statement in regards to the incident:

“This is an unfortunate instance for the Kyle Center. We are strongly committed to providing quality
care for our residents and we will continue to be a model program for providers. Accounting safeguards
have be implemented to insure that, in the future, occurrences such as this one will be virtually
impossible.”

Barner’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 20, and she could face up to 10 years in prison.