Retired Nun Accused of Stealing to Fund Casino Habit
Only in America, right?
A Californian nun, and former Catholic School Principal, has been charged with embezzling money from fees and donations to the school where she worked, all the while funding an unlikely gambling habit. Looks like she’ll be out of the habit for good and doing some hard time. No pun intended.
Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, aged 79, joined the religious order at the age of 18, taking vows of poverty. She spent 59 years as a nun. She retired as the Principal of St James’ Catholic School in Torrance, California in 2018.
However, her crimes came to light after a regulation audit into the school’s finances took place after her retirement.
Sister Kreuper has pled guilty to siphoning off over $830,000 from the school’s tuition fees and donations over a ten year period leading up to her retirement. As the Principal of the school, with access to Credit Union accounts, she moved the school’s money into savings accounts for nun expenses.
Eventually, she siphoned off her own personal funds which were used to pay off credit card bills and fund casino trips.
According to the case’s prosecutor, she ran an incredibly proficient scam where she managed to convince parents, teachers and the administration that the school’s accounts were perfectly well balanced and in solid hands.
She allegedly asked school employees to destroy financial records to cover her tracks.
According to Kreuper’s lawyers, there were extenuating circumstances surrounding her illegal behaviour, stating that she had suffered various mental health problems in recent years. They said that as soon as the nun was confronted by authorities about her actions, she admitted to the crimes, showed remorse, and attempted to assist law enforcement with their enquiries.
Sister Kreuper will plead guilty to the crime at her upcoming court appearance in July. She could face up to 40 years in jail, effectively putting her away for the rest of her life.