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.
In this day and age, one has to question the continued apparent lack of financial controls at this school and numerous other Catholic institutions. As for being remorseful, it seems to have taken quite a few years for remorsefulness to have set in.
Anyone want to place odds that the embezzler nun was  a lesbian and  a long-time drunk as well as being  “mentally ill”? She was well enough to place over $800k in bets, was she not? And why the hell was this religious sister a long-time habitué of casinos? Nobody noticed? $800k disappeared, and nobody noticed?
1. Haul the sister into court, and if she is found guilty of embezzlement, give her the maximum sentence. Let her die in jail. No mercy for pant-suited thieves
calling themselves “sisters” who swindle the faithful. If she is found “mentally ill”, commit her to a state-run nut house for the rest of her life.
2. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles should determine the identity of each pastor during whose tenure the embezzlement took place. Find out why they never
discovered the facts: [A] If due to negligence, remove them NOW from any pastorate they hold. Assign them to be prison chaplains, or junior curates in the
boondocks; [B] if due to malfeasance suspend them immediately and begin canonical proceedings which might lead to their laicization.
Are these suggestions harsh? Yes, indeed. But fitting for the betrayal committed. How long do our hierarchs expect us, the payers, to look the other way in circumstances so disgraceful? To accept their laying down strict rules for us that they themselves don’t follow?
That ball game’s over. You can bet on it, so to speak.
Prison for the rest of her life.
Even nuns should have to pay the legal consequences for their criminal activities. Not buying that fake “later in life mental illness” excuse.
It’s only a “mental illness” when you lose.
Hitting Triple Blazing 7’s at $50 a pull is called “lucky”.
In God we trust, all others we audit. Accounting and auditing 101. Without knowing the specifics of the scam, simple separation of duties, and rotation thereof, would likely have stopped this ‘sister’ in her tracks.
As to punishment, much credit is due to her many years of apparent success as a teacher and administrator.
In my humble opinion, a couple of months of jail time, followed by probation at a school which could use her talent, obviously with no access to the cash or financiial records.
Seriously? Her many years of successful thievery is her only talent. She is an absolute disgrace.
How about restitution? Sue the sister’s religious community for the 800 grand.
I believe the Sister’s community paid restitution.
Why on earth was this serious crime not caught when it started– why was it so hard to catch?? Who was responsible for negligence in the school’s budget and finances??
The Casinos were profiting from it. Got it!
My last post was meant for Anon. June 9 at 11:45 pm.
Having gone to Catholic schools from k through high school, I can say she sure doesnt look like any of the nuns that taught me. Sad
a six-figure sum can sure buy a lot of polyester
She did it Out of Habit.
Another instance of the horrible lack of financial management in the Church. It is pervasive. Each parish should have an outside CPA review each year and a full audit at least every five years, or when there is a change of Pastors. Pastors and school Principals should not be able to touch any of the money that comes into their organizations. Only the finance committee should be able to approve expenditures, including payroll. The fact that this occurred lies at the feet of the Archdiocese Chief Financial Officer.
Lock her up! Lock her up!
I wonder what type of morality she taught in the school?
All for Nun, None fer y’All.