Gambling nun to plead guilty to stealing over US$835K

Kreuper embezzled money the school received to pay for tuition and fees, as well as for charitable donations.

An elderly nun
An elderly nun and former Catholic school principal is facing up to 40 years in prison after she stole more than US$835,000 to fund her gambling habit. File photo: Robert Cheaib from Pixabay

PRETORIA, June 10 (ANA) – United States prosecutors said that a retired nun who was the principal of a Catholic school in Torrance, California, has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than US$835,000 in school funds to finance her gambling habit.

In a statement posted on Tuesday by the US Department of Justice, it was said that Mary Kreuper, 79, of Los Angeles has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and money-laundering charges.

The department said Kreuper could face up to 40 years in prison.

Kreuper was the principal at St. James Catholic School for 28 years until 2018. Her role at the school included being in charge of the money.

Over the years, Kreuper embezzled money that the school received to pay for tuition and fees, as well as for charitable donations.

As part of the plea agreement, she admitted that she had used the diverted funds “to pay for expenses that the order would not have approved, much less paid for, including large gambling expenses incurred at casinos and certain credit card charges”, read the statement.

Kreuper admitted that she had falsified monthly and annual reports to the school administration to cover up her fraudulent conduct.

She further deceived St. James School and the administration into believing that the school’s finances were being properly accounted for and its financial assets properly safeguarded.

This allowed Kreuper to maintain her access and control of the school’s finances and accounts and to continue her fraudulent scheme.

“The criminal information also alleges that Kreuper directed St. James School employees to alter and destroy financial records during a school audit,” read the statement.

Kreuper is expected to appear in court on July 1.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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