By Stella Chan and Ray Sanchez, CNN
(CNN) — A now-retired nun will plead responsible to wire fraud and cash laundering prices for stealing greater than $835,000 for playing and different private bills from the Southern California faculty 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 through which she pocketed tuition cash, charges and charitable donations meant for St. James Catholic College in Torrance, California, in line with a plea settlement with US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. She was principal for practically three many years.
Kreuper’s lawyer Mark Byrne mentioned Thursday that his shopper was “very remorseful” and, when confronted, “accepted full duty for what she had executed and … cooperated utterly with regulation enforcement and the Archdiocese.”
Byrne mentioned in an announcement that Kreuper turned a nun at 18 and “devoted her life to serving to others and educating youngsters in Archdiocesan faculties.”
“Sadly, later in her life she has been affected by a psychological sickness that clouded her judgment and triggered her to do one thing that she in any other case wouldn’t have executed,” he added. “She may be very sorry for any hurt she has triggered.”
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 mentioned. Underneath the settlement she pleaded responsible carry to the costs, which prosecutors mentioned carry a most 40-year federal jail sentence.
Throughout her 28 years as principal, Kreuper oversaw funds the varsity obtained, together with money and checks for tuition, charges and donations, in line with 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 dwelling bills for herself and others nun on the faculty, the plea settlement mentioned.
However Kreuper “fraudulently diverted” checks and money meant for the varsity into the 2 accounts she managed “to pay for bills that the order wouldn’t have accredited, a lot much less paid for, together with massive playing bills incurred at casinos and sure bank card prices,” in line with the settlement.
To hide the scheme, Kreuper falsified month-to-month and annual faculty monetary experiences, the settlement mentioned.
“By falsifying these experiences on this means, defendant Kreuper lulled St. James College 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 take care of her entry and management of the varsity’s funds and accounts and thus, to proceed working the fraudulent scheme,” the settlement mentioned.
Kreuper additionally directed faculty workers “to change and destroy monetary data” throughout a monetary audit, in line with the settlement.
Over 10 years, ending together with her retirement in September 2018, Kreuper admitted within the settlement to embezzling $835,339, the settlement mentioned.
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