The one with the habit in the habit: gambling nun embezzles money from school

Torrance, California - A nun with a gambling addiction allegedly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years to pay for casino visits and other personal expenses.

A nun in California succumbed to the lure of gambling and even diverted school fees to finance her addiction (stock image).
A nun in California succumbed to the lure of gambling and even diverted school fees to finance her addiction (stock image).  © 123rf.com/welcomia

According to the district attorney's office in Los Angeles, 79-year-old Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper was charged this week with money laundering and fraud. She reportedly confessed to having pocketed more than $835,000.

The long-time principal of a Catholic elementary school in the city of Torrance, she allegedly embezzled school and donation funds over a period of ten years and falsified the accounting books.

The deficit was only discovered much later during an audit. The nun, who once took a vow of poverty, is now retired.

Mom arrested after posing as her 13-year-old daughter at school "to prove a point"
Law enforcement Mom arrested after posing as her 13-year-old daughter at school "to prove a point"

According to a statement from prosecutors, Sister Mary Margaret claimed to have used the embezzled money to pay for "large gambling expenses" and credit card debt.

According to her lawyers, the nun intends to cooperate fully with authorities, The New York Times reported, adding that she regrets her actions.

The lawyers explained that Sister Mary Margaret had helped others all her life, but later developed mental problems that clouded her judgment.

The 79-year-old is due back in court on July 1, and could face a maximum of 40 years in prison for the two offenses, according to the prosecution.

Cover photo: 123rf.com/welcomia

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