TSR Updatez: What in the Sister Mary Clarence is going on in California. Do y’all remember the two nuns from Torrance who ran up the bills to go on gambling vacays? Well one of them is ready to plead guilty.
Federal prosecutors filed charges today against now-retired 79-year-old Mary Margaret Kreuper, who has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and money laundering charges for stealing more than $835,000 in school funds to pay for personal expenses, including gambling trips.
Kreuper, who was the principal of an elementary school in Torrance, was charged Tuesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Central District of California. Kreuper agreed to plead guilty to the two charges that carry a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in federal prison.
For a period of 10 years ending in September of 2018, Kreuper embezzled money from St. James Catholic School, according to prosecutors. As principal of the school for 28 years, Kreuper was responsible for the money the school received to pay for tuition and fees, as well as for charitable donations.
Kreuper was in charge of several accounts at a credit union, including a savings account for the school and one established to pay the living expenses of the nuns who were employed by the school.
“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, as she admitted in her plea agreement, 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 the news release.
Kreuper further admitted in her plea agreement that she falsified monthly and annual reports to the school administration to cover her tracks and tricked St. James School and the Administration into believing that the school’s finances were being properly accounted for and its financial assets properly safeguarded, according to prosecutors.
But it gets worse. The criminal information also alleges that Kreuper directed the school’s employees to alter and destroy financial records during a school audit.
Kreuper admitted that, over the course of the scheme, she caused losses to St. James Catholic School totaling $835,339, according to prosecutors. Kreuper has agreed to appear for arraignment on July 1.
Chile, what a ball of confusion. We’ll keep you posted on this one.
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