The first sentence of this DOJ press release gets better and better as you read it: "A nun who was the principal of a Catholic elementary school in Torrance was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in federal prison for stealing more than $835,000 in school funds to pay for personal expenses, including gambling trips."
Interestingly Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper (80) was ordered to pay only $825,338 in restitution. This means she made a profit of about $10,000. Who says crime doesn't pay?
From the press release:
Kreuper, who as a nun had taken a vow of poverty, diverted school funds into the St. James Convent Account and the St. James Savings Account and then used the diverted 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.
Kreuper falsified monthly and annual reports to the school administration to cover up her fraudulent conduct and "lulled St. James School and the Administration into believing that the school's finances were being properly accounted for and its financial assets properly safeguarded, which, in turn, allowed defendant Kreuper to maintain her access and control of the school's finances and accounts and, thus, continue operating the fraudulent scheme," according to court documents. Kreuper also directed St. James School employees to alter and destroy financial records during a school audit.