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Two Nuns Embezzle School Funds to Cover Vegas Gambling Trips

Two nuns embezzled a “substantial” amount of money from the Catholic school in California they worked at to fund gambling trips to Las Vegas.

Sisters Mary Margaret Kreuper, former school principal and Lana Chang, who taught eighth-grade students, are said to have stolen the money from tuition and donations of St James Catholic School in Torrance, Los Angeles. None of them has been charged with a crime.

Discovering the Theft

According to Adrian Alarcon, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the embezzlement was identified during a routine financial review and was believed to have gone on for at least a decade. Alarcon said the total sum stolen was still being calculated and he could not confirm reports that suggested the amount to be around USD$500,000.

Monsignor Michael Meyers described in a letter to parents that the stolen amount was “substantial.”

“I want to assure you that the investigation has disclosed that, notwithstanding this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations,” Meyers wrote.”In sum, the education of your children has not and will not be affected by these events.”

Acknowledging their Crime

Meyers said the nuns admitted to the theft, apologised and were cooperating with an investigation. He revealed that the pair as well as the Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, the nuns’ order, had agreed to pay back the stolen funds.

Meyers wrote in his letter: “Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you, the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers,”

“They and their order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school,”

The archdiocese has got in touch with the police regarding the incident, but church officials had no plans to press charges so far. They are looking to resolve the issue internally by getting the money back and have the nuns’ order disciplines the two nuns.

Kreuper worked at the school for 29 years and Chang 20 years before they retired earlier this year.

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