A woman who worked for 37 years as the financial officer for the Black River Area Development Corp. has pleaded guilty to a charge for allegedly embezzling more than $390,000 over an 11-year period.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 56-year-old Debra Shannon of Pocahontas waived indictment Wednesday and pleaded guilty to one mail fraud charge.

Shannon admitted in court that she wrote checks to herself, starting in 2001, and altered documents from bank statements. Prosecutors say the scheme continued until May.

The agency where Shannon worked is devoted to helping poor residents in the Black River area in northeast Arkansas.

Sentencing will be set later. Shannon could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and fined $250,000. Shannon is free on her own recognizance.