Nun Embezzled $835K to Fund Gambling Habit

Mary Margaret Kreuper could get 40 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2021 6:38 PM CDT
Nun With Gambling Habit Admits Stealing $835K
Authorities say Kreuper had "large gambling expenses incurred at casinos."   (Getty Images/Martin Saigo)

A Los Angeles nun who took a vow of poverty has agreed to plea guilty to federal charges for stealing more than $800,000 to pay for a gambling habit, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, was charged Tuesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, the US attorney's office said. Prosecutors said that in a plea agreement also filed Tuesday, the now-retired nun acknowledged that over a decade ending in 2018, she embezzled about $835,000 in donations, tuition, and fee money from St. James Catholic School in the LA suburb of Torrance, the AP reports.

Kreuper, who was the school principal for 28 years, "controlled accounts at a credit union, including a savings account for the school and one established to pay the living expenses of the nuns employed by the school," the US attorney's office said. In her plea agreement, Kreuper acknowledged diverting money to pay for personal expenses that included credit card charges and "large gambling expenses incurred at casinos," the US attorney's office said. Kreuper could face up to 40 years in federal prison. (When Kreuper and another nun were first accused of theft, the school initially declined to press charges.)

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