A now-retired nun will plead responsible to wire fraud and cash laundering costs for stealing greater than $835,000 for playing and different private bills from the Southern California college that she ran, federal prosecutors say.
Mary Margaret Kreuper, a 79-year-old Los Angeles resident, violated her vow of poverty throughout a 10-year interval wherein she pocketed tuition cash, charges and charitable donations supposed for St. James Catholic Faculty in Torrance, California, based on a plea settlement with US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. She was principal for practically three a long time.
Kreuper’s lawyer Mark Byrne stated Thursday that his shopper was “very remorseful” and, when confronted, “accepted full duty for what she had performed and … cooperated fully with regulation enforcement and the Archdiocese.”
Byrne stated in a press release that Kreuper grew to become a nun at 18 and “devoted her life to serving to others and educating kids in Archdiocesan faculties.”
“Sadly, later in her life she has been affected by a psychological sickness that clouded her judgment and brought about her to do one thing that she in any other case wouldn’t have performed,” he added. “She could be very sorry for any hurt she has brought about.”
Kreuper will probably be arraigned July 1.
CNN has requested remark from the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
Kreuper was charged Tuesday with one rely of wire fraud and one rely of cash laundering, federal prosecutors stated. Beneath the settlement she pleaded responsible carry to the fees, which prosecutors stated carry a most 40-year federal jail sentence.
Throughout her 28 years as principal, Kreuper oversaw funds the varsity acquired, together with money and checks for tuition, charges and donations, based on the plea settlement.
Kreuper was a signatory on a pair of credit score union accounts — a faculty financial savings account and a “convent” account to pay for residing bills for herself and others nun on the college, the plea settlement stated.
However Kreuper “fraudulently diverted” checks and money supposed for the varsity into the 2 accounts she managed “to pay for bills that the order wouldn’t have authorised, a lot much less paid for, together with massive playing bills incurred at casinos and sure bank card costs,” based on the settlement.
To hide the scheme, Kreuper falsified month-to-month and annual college monetary experiences, the settlement stated.
“By falsifying these experiences on this method, defendant Kreuper lulled St. James Faculty and the Administration into believing the varsity’s funds have been being correctly accounted for and its monetary property correctly safeguarded, which, in flip, allowed defendant Kreuper to keep up her entry and management of the varsity’s funds and accounts and thus, to proceed working the fraudulent scheme,” the settlement stated.
Kreuper additionally directed college staff “to change and destroy monetary information” throughout a monetary audit, based on the settlement.
Over 10 years, ending along with her retirement in September 2018, Kreuper admitted within the settlement to embezzling $835,339, the settlement stated.