A nun in California pled guilty in a US District Court after being accused of stealing more than $835,000 from a Catholic school to fund her gambling habits.
Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper was facing one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, according to a report from the New York Post. The 79-year-old entered a guilty plea on Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors in the Central District of California.
Kreuper used her position as principal of St. James Catholic School in Torrance to embezzle $835,339 from the school. She used the 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 court documents.
She served as the school’s principal for 28 years and ran the scam for a 10-year period between 2008-2018. Kreuper retired in 2018.
As principal, Kreuper was responsible for charitable donations, as well as funds received to cover tuition costs and other fees. She was in charge of multiple accounts at a local credit union that were used as a savings account for the school and another that paid for the living expenses of all the nuns employed by it.
She reportedly diverted school funds into the two accounts at the credit union, while diverting cash to pay for her trips to Las Vegas casinos.
Kreuper is due back in court to be arraigned on July 1.