Two nuns at St. James Catholic school in Southern California are currently under investigation, for stealing nearly $500,000 – which was mostly spent on gambling in Sin City.
Over the span of several years, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and her partner in crime, Sister Lana Chang, set aside thousands of dollars in funds that were meant to be used to cover personal costs. Sister Mary Margaret had been working as the school’s principal for 28 years at the time of the investigation, while Sister Lana had already retired and had worked as an eighth-grade teacher at the school for 20 years.
Following a recent retirement audit for Sister Mary Margaret, it was found that numerous checks had been cashed into questionable accounts. Upon further investigation, auditors found that most of the money was spent to fly to Las Vegas and was straight gambled away.
Monsignor Michael Meyers wrote a letter to parishioners about the situation, stating:
“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,” and furthermore, “They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school.”
Currently, the church has decided not to press charges, but will handle the gamblers “internally through the investigation, restitution, and sanctions on the sisters”, which sounds like a lot more than just a slap on the hand with a yardstick.
Meyers also states, “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”.
Officials at the church are are working to both replace the stolen funds, and put in motion new methods that will prevent such “nun-sense” from happening in the future.