A nun who ran a Catholic elementary school in Torrance has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than $835,000 in school funds to pay for her personal expenses, including a gambling habit.
Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, was charged Tuesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California. A plea agreement was filed with the charging document.
A statement from Kreuper’s attorney, Mark Byrne, said that Kreuper is “very remorseful for what happened,” describing how she became a nun at 18 and has dedicated her life to helping others.
“Unfortunately, later in her life she has been suffering from a mental illness that clouded her judgment and caused her to do something that she otherwise would not have done,” the statement said.
In November 2018, the pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach alerted parents in letters that both Kreuper, then recently retired, and Sister Lana Chang, a former teacher, had allegedly misappropriated school funds for their personal use. Chang, who retired at the same time as Kreuper, was an eighth-grade teacher for about 20 years and had served as vice principal for the past several years.
Full story at LA Times.