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California nun embezzled hundreds of thousands from the Catholic school where she was principal to support her gambling, prosecutors say

St. James Catholic School in Torrance on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Photo by Scott Varley/Electronic Very first Media/ Torrance Every day Breeze by means of Getty Visuals

  • A nun ran an embezzlement scheme at the Catholic elementary college where by she worked for ten many years.

  • Now, two years after she retired as principal, she’s agreed to plead guilty to fraud and cash laundering.

  • More than the program of her plan she caused losses equal to $835,339, according to the Justice Section.

  • Check out Insider’s homepage for a lot more stories.

A spiritual sister and Catholic university principal diverted university resources to bankroll her own own fees, like gambling outings to casinos and credit rating card costs, prosecutors allege.

Mary Margaret Kreuper, a retired nun who served as principal of a Catholic elementary faculty in Torrance, California, for 28 yrs, agreed on Tuesday to plead guilty to fraud and money laundering expenses for thieving extra than $835,000 from her spot of employment to assistance her secular lifestyle, prosecutors said.

From 2008 to 2018, Kreuper embezzled cash from St. James Catholic School, where by, as principal, she was in charge of the income the university acquired from tuition and charity donations. According to the Justice Department, Kreuper had accessibility to the school’s cost savings account and a credit score union account that compensated dwelling expenditures for other nuns who worked at the school.

In her plea agreement, Kreuper admitted to falsifying month-to-month and yearly experiences to the school’s administration in purchase to protect up her embezzlement. She also “lulled St. James University and the Administration into believing that the school’s finances were becoming correctly accounted for and its financial property effectively safeguarded, which in switch, allowed [her] to keep her accessibility and manage of the school’s funds and accounts and, so, proceed functioning the fraudulent plan.”

Kreuper acknowledged that she used the diverted cash “to pay back for expenses that the order would not have authorised, significantly much less compensated for,” which include gambling expenditures in Nevada.

Prosecutors have also accused Kreuper of directing faculty employees to alter or wipe out economical documents through an audit of the college.

Kreuper’s legal professionals informed The Washington Post on Wednesday that she is “very remorseful” and “sorry for any hurt she has induced.”

“As soon as she was confronted she recognized full obligation for what she had carried out and she has cooperated entirely with regulation enforcement and the Archdiocese,” her lawyers informed the outlet, including that “later in her everyday living she has been suffering from a mental illness that clouded her judgment and induced her to do some thing that she normally would not have done.”

Kreuper was 18 years outdated when she became a nun and used the following six a long time in the church, in accordance to The Write-up. She turned principal at St. James Catholic Faculty in 1990.

Soon after Kreuper retired in 2018, a economic overview performed by the school for the new principal discovered her techniques, The Los Angeles Times noted in 2018. The Archdiocese alerted authorities to their discovery quickly after.

The sisters’ buy agreed to reimburse the college and impose “proper” penalties and sanctions from Kreuper, The LA Occasions claimed.

Kreuper agreed to plead responsible to fraud and cash laundering charges which carry a greatest statutory penalty of 40 decades in federal prison, in accordance to the Justice Department.

She will subsequent seem in court docket for an arraignment on July 1.

Go through the unique report on Insider

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