Saturday, June 19, 2021

Retired nun pleads guilty to stealing more than $830,000 from St. James Catholic School to fund gambling trips

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A California nun will plead guilty to swindling over $800,000 from the Catholic elementary school she ran to help pay for her gambling trips, federal prosecutors said.

Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, was charged Tuesday with wire fraud and money laundering for ripping off St. James Catholic School for a period of 10 years ending in September 2018, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.

Kreuper, who was the principal of the school for 28 years, agreed to plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors, the release said.

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Kreuper used her position to funnel $835,339 of the school’s 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,” according to the plea agreement.

The nun was in charge of overseeing tuition money, fees the school received and charitable donations, prosecutors said.

She also controlled the school’s credit union accounts, which she used to divert other funds into that she would then use for the spending, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutor said she also admitted to falsifying the school’s financial records.

She is due to be arraigned on July 1.

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