USA: nuns embezzled more than 500,000 dollars of a Catholic school

Tyler Durden

Staff member
Trusted user
Jul 2, 2016
Two nuns have embezzled donations and tuition fees from a school. So far, it is not clear what has happened to the money. It is said, however, that the nuns liked to have gone to Casinos. But you can also have financed other private trips with it.


Employees of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have now admitted to parents of the students of the St. James Catholic School in Torrance, and to former graduates, that two nuns have over 6 years of at least $ 500,000 (441.000 euros) on school fees and donations. These are the initial findings from the bank's operations. It is uncertain how much cash has not been registered.

It is also unclear what the money was used for. The nuns were supposed to have been traveling a lot and sometimes even played in Casinos. The school is located in the city of Torrance, which is located in southwest California near San Diego. Las Vegas is 300 miles away, you would need about 6 hours by car there.

Fraud was discovered by chance
The real scandal became known at the end of November. The school had announced that there was internal investigation against two sisters St. Joseph of Carondelet. Although the sisters Mary Margaret Kreuper and Lana Chang retired at the beginning of the year, they seem to have used a considerable proportion of the school fees for personal purposes for years to come.

Monsignor Michael Meyers had now announced in a public assembly that internal investigations for the incident have been ongoing for 6 months. This was triggered by Mary Margaret Kreuper (head of the St. James Catholic School), who retired after 28 years. It was then a normal review of the documents.

At the same time, when the financial check was, a family randomly requested a copy of a check issued to the school. It was noticed that the Check was credited to an account that did not belong to the school.

The headmaster was very nervous and worried about the upcoming financial audit. In part, she even asked the staff to change records. Meyers was entrusted with the matter and passed on the anomalies to an internal investigator of the diocese. He confirmed the first suspicion. As a result, the Archdiocese commissioned an external auditor to investigate the matter.

Fraud for at least a decade
The review showed that funds have been misappropriated for at least 10 years. The school, however, was able to write black numbers every year, so that apparently no more detailed examination was made.

A retired FBI Agent had conducted the investigation. When talking to the two persons responsible, you described the System you were able to use.

There was probably since 1997, a long-forgotten Church Bank account, only Chang (teacher of the school) and Kreuper (headmistress). Proper banking arrangements only existed in the municipality from 2012, so there was no documentation on the account. To keep the fraud alive, Kreuper had a System. All checks for tuition fees and other donations went through her hands before the checks came to accounting. She had allegedly withheld some Checks and deposited on the other church account. The only difference in the Checks was that they were marked "St. James Convent "instead of" St. James School". The accounting department had not further checked the Checks through the official stamp.

What happened to the money?
The sisters used most of it for their personal purposes. However, according to the two statements, some of them would have been "recycled" again into the school's reserve funds. The lawyer of the school told the question only with:

We know you had a pattern for trips. We know you had a pattern of going to Casinos. In reality, you used the account as your personal account.
The sisters were repented on several occasions and confirmed that the funds collected by the school's charitable Education Foundation were not affected.

What are the consequences for the nuns?
The Archdiocese cooperates with the Torrance police. However, one does not want to be a complaining party. This decision was made as the order of the sisters (St. Joseph of Carondelet) will pay for the costs incurred. The school will receive a refund and the sisters have to expect" severe sanctions " by the order management.

The two sisters were placed in separate monasteries. Further sanctions are planned, but they are not to be made public. The school had promised that systems would now be developed so that such errors could no longer easily happen.

Recently, the incidents of religious members who have embezzled money and spent gambling are increasing. The nuns are said to have done it at the Casino, if only a part. The church is usually more likely to be against gambling, although there are no clear biblical references. Although we had a similar case in Germany with a priest, but that heart-good and sacrificing nuns would do something like this, at least I would not have expected. But sometimes the devil is in the Detail.