Gambling habit: Nun who vowed poverty faces up to 40 years in federal prison after admitting to stealing more than $835,000 to cover casino debt and credit card bills
- Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, embezzled money from St James Catholic School, LA
- The retired nun was charged Tuesday with wire transfer fraud and money laundering
- As a school principal for 28 years, she managed the accounts with a credit union
Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, has agreed to plead guilty to stealing $835,000 from a school
A nun who took a vow of poverty has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than $800,000 from a school to fund her gambling addiction.
Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, of Los Angeles faces up to 40 years in prison for embezzling money from St. James Catholic School in Torrance.
She was charged Tuesday with one count of wire transfer fraud and one count of money laundering, the US law firm said.
Prosecutors said in a plea deal also filed Tuesday, the now-retired nun acknowledged that she embezzled about $835,000 in donations, tuition and fees over a decade ending in 2018.
Kreuper, who served as principal of the school for 28 years, “managed accounts with a credit union, including a savings account for the school and an account established to pay the living expenses of the nuns employed by the school,” he said. the US law firm.
Kreuper, 79, of Los Angeles faces up to 40 years in prison for embezzling money from St. James Catholic School (pictured)
Her scheme was discovered in 2018 after an investigation into an old check.
In her plea deal, Kreuper admitted to funneling money to pay for personal expenses, including credit card fees and “large gambling fees in casinos,” the US law firm said.
Kreuper admitted in her plea that she had falsified monthly and annual reports to the school administration to cover up her fraudulent behavior and to trick her school administration into believing the finances had been properly accounted for.
The criminal information also alleges that Kreuper instructed St. James School employees to alter and destroy financial records during a school audit, the Justice Department statement said.
In her plea deal, Kreuper admitted that she had funneled money to pay for personal expenses, including credit card fees and “large gambling costs incurred at casinos.”
A statement from her lawyers said Kreuper is “deeply sorry for what happened” and has worked with police and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Kreuper became a nun at the age of 18, the statement said, reported by KNX-AM radio.
“Unfortunately, later in life, she suffered from a mental illness that clouded her judgment and caused her to do something she wouldn’t have done otherwise,” the statement read.
“She’s very sorry for the damage she’s done.”
Kreuper has agreed to appear in court in the United States on July 1.