As a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper had taken a vow of poverty.
However this week, prosecutors stated Sister Mary Margaret, 79, had agreed to plead responsible to stealing greater than $835,000 from a Catholic elementary faculty to assist a playing behavior and to pay for different private bills.
Sister Mary Margaret was charged on Tuesday with wire fraud and cash laundering whereas she was the principal of St. James Catholic College in Torrance, Calif., the workplace of the U.S. legal professional for the Central District of California stated in a assertion. She is scheduled to seem within the Federal District Court docket in Los Angeles on July 1.
Sister Mary Margaret admitted to a “fraudulent scheme” wherein she “lulled St. James College and the administration into believing that the varsity’s funds had been being correctly accounted for and its monetary belongings correctly safeguarded,” prosecutors stated.
She confessed to inflicting losses to St. James Catholic College totaling $835,339 over the course of the scheme, the assertion stated. She retired as the varsity’s principal in 2018, after 28 years within the position, it stated.
In line with paperwork accompanying the plea settlement, Sister Mary Margaret diverted faculty funds into the varsity’s convent account and its federal credit score union financial savings account, after which used the cash for “bills that the order wouldn’t have accepted, a lot much less paid for,” together with giant playing bills at casinos in Nevada and bank card expenses.
Sister Mary Margaret’s legal professionals, Mark A. Byrne and Daniel V. Nixon, stated she was “very remorseful.”
“As quickly as she was confronted she accepted full duty for what she had achieved and he or she has cooperated fully with legislation enforcement and the Archdiocese,” they stated in an announcement. They added that “she has been affected by a psychological sickness that clouded her judgment and prompted her to do one thing that she in any other case wouldn’t have achieved.”
They stated Sister Mary Margaret grew to become a nun when she was 18, and for the subsequent 59 years she devoted her life to “serving to others and educating kids in Archdiocesan faculties.”
Her non secular order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, which based on court docket paperwork was paying for her dwelling bills, stated in an announcement on Wednesday that it will not remark till the authorized course of was accomplished.
She additionally admitted to falsifying month-to-month and annual monetary stories, and to telling faculty workers to change and destroy monetary information throughout an audit, the prosecutors’ assertion and court docket paperwork stated.
Concern over the varsity’s funds began to extend because the Archdiocese of Los Angeles started to arrange for the change of management in 2018, the archdiocese stated in an announcement. A monetary evaluate confirmed “a considerable quantity of faculty funds had been misappropriated for private use by Sister Mary Margaret,” it stated.
In December 2018, after a gathering with the archdiocese, the Torrance Police Division stated that it was dedicating further staffing to assist look at proof and discover individuals who had submitted tuition checks, account cost info or money donations.
In an announcement on Tuesday about Sister Mary Margaret’s responsible plea, the archdiocese stated the revelations had “shocked and saddened” the neighborhood.