KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The former office manager of a Brookside medical practice pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of mail fraud as part of a deal with prosecutors in which she admitted to embezzling her employer and longtime friend out of at least $130,000.
Eileen "Anne" Kisner now faces up to 20 years in federal prison for her crime, which took place over the roughly eight-year period she worked for her friend Dr. Darren Killen at Killen's Brookside Family Medicine.
Killen said Kisner used company credit cards and company funds to pay for vacations, meals, clothes and even her own utility bills over a span of years, all while concealing her spending spree from Killen and her family.
Killen uncovered the deception in the fall of 2010 after a nagging suspicion led him to examine the company's checkbook on a Friday evening.
"One Friday afternoon I was sitting here working and just this light bulb went off. As crazy as it sounds I thought you know what -- you're going to be one of those doctors who wakes up some day and you have no money because your business manager took it all," Killen said. "The first thing I find is a credit card with her and her husband's credit card, but with the office address."
Working through the night, Killen soon found three more credit cards in Kisner's name, but tied to company accounts. Eventually, he would discover seven-- all maxed out on purchases ranging from meals at nice restaurants, to her utility bills to more than $10,000 in clothing at Talbots on the Plaza.
"She always had, it seemed like, every six months, would have a designer pair of eyeglasses," Killen recalled. "Every time we traveled I always thought ‘My gosh, she spends a lot of money,' and I always thought it was her husband. Come to find out it was all my money."
Killen and Kisner had been friends for the better part of 10 years; vacationing together in Europe and South America and Kisner's daughter had been Killen's nurse. Both Kisners were fired after Killen discovered how deep he had fallen into debt. He eventually filed for personal bankruptcy and had to sell his practice to a larger firm.
Now, Killen's practice is thriving again, although he does not own it, and after two years living abroad, Kisner was captured this spring when she flew into Philadelphia.
Killen said facing his former friend in a courtroom was a surreal experience.
"You're just sitting there thinking how could someone... seven and a half out of the eight years she worked for you and was a friend was taking money the whole time," he said.