Two Catholic school nuns in California have admitted to embezzling $500,000, and using the funds over the years for travel and gambling in Las Vegas, their order said on Monday December 10th — and using it for gambling, food and even visits to a local strip club.
Sisters Mary Margaret Kreuper and Lana Chang, who are said to be best friends, took the money from tuition, fees and donations at St James Catholic School in Torrance, south of Los Angeles.
“We do know that they had a pattern of going on trips. We do know they had a pattern of going to casinos, and the reality is, they used the account as their personal account,” an attorney for the school told parents and alumni at a recent meeting, the Press-Telegram reported.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said the missing money was discovered during a routine audit and it is believed the nuns operated their scheme over at least a decade.
Kreuper was principal at the school for 29 years until her retirement earlier this year. Chang was a teacher for 20 years and she also retired this year.
“Our community is concerned and saddened by this situation and regret any injury to our long relationship with the families of the school,” the Sister of St Joseph of Carondelet, the nuns’ order, said in a statement sent to AFP.
“The Sisters of St Joseph both desire and intend to make complete restitution to St James School.”Monsignor Michael Meyerss, the school pastors said the school did not wish to pursue criminal proceedings against the pair, who spent decades as students’ moral enforcers.