December 2, 2022
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Mary Margaret Kreuper sentenced for embezzlement

By on February 9, 2022 0

Marie-Margaret Kreuper.

Despite her vow of poverty, a Californian nun embezzled funds from the Roman Catholic school she ran to fund her gambling habit, federal prosecutors say. Now Marie-Marguerite Kreuper80, expected to spend a year and a day in prison followed by two years of probation.

She must also pay $825,338 in restitution, covering most of the $835,339 loss to St. James Catholic School in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. At about $83,000 a year, the amount is equivalent to tuition for 14 students a year, prosecutors said.

Kreuper had pleaded guilty in July to one count of wire fraud and money laundering. Authorities say she spent 10 years embezzling money from St. James Catholic School where she served as principal.

For 10 years until September 2018, prosecutors say she defrauded the establishment for money. When it was all over, she had been director for a total of 28 years, they said. Not every year appears to have involved alleged financial crimes.

Consistent with his position and title, Kreuper had rightful control of the school’s money for tuition and fees as well as donations.

“Kreuper controlled the accounts of a credit union, including a savings account for the school and another established to pay the living expenses of nuns employed by the school,” the US Department of Justice said. in a press release.

Of course, none of his controls legitimately extended to the use of school funds for “large gambling expenses incurred in casinos and certain credit card charges,” but that’s what Kreuper said. do. She convinced the school administration to think that everything was getting better and better. As part of her effort to suppress everything, she had school employees alter and destroy financial records during a school audit.

“I have sinned,” Kreuper said on a conference call Monday, according to New York Daily News. “I broke the law and I have no excuse. My actions were in violation of my vows, my commandments, the law, and most importantly, the sacred trust that so many had placed in me. I was wrong and I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering I caused so many people.

Kreuper has repaid $10,000 of what it owes, according to The Long Beach News Telegram. During his hearing, some parents said their children felt betrayed by his decision to take their tuition. A former student said Kreuper breached his trust and contributed to his decision to leave the Catholic Church.

Parent and former school secretary Cheryl Hugo reportedly called Kreuper’s actions “an abuse of power in every possible way”.

Judge Otis D. Wright II, however, said the majority of letters to the court from people such as colleagues, church leaders, parents and former students called for a lighter sentence. Regarding parents Kevin Kearns was concerned, there were no hard feelings about the embezzlement.

“I don’t feel like a victim in this case,” he said. “I got exactly what I paid for. My son received the best education possible, in fact, I probably would have paid double the tuition for my son to attend St. James.

Online jail records do not yet show Kreuper in federal custody. His deadline to report for incarceration is June 7 at noon.

[Screenshot via KABC-TV]

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