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A nun who stole $835,000 to gamble her heart out

Senior Reporter

This is the kind of news that you’d only see in movies - a nun who steals money to gamble. As unheard of as that may be, some of the most heinous crimes happen under the steeple - so don’t be too surprised when you hear such stories. This time the sin was committed by the most unexpected suspect - a 79-year-old Mary Margaret Kreuper.

A nun who stole $835,000 to gamble her heart out
Photo: latimes.com

But Mary wasn’t just a nun; she also happened to be a Catholic school principal for 28 years and collected donation money and used it for wire fraud, money laundering, and of course - her beloved gambling habits. Talk about a jack of all trades!

The sly nun gathered LA’s St. James Catholic School’s donations as well as tuition money amounting up to $835,000 over the last decade. She recently admitted that a hefty chunk of it was spent on gambling habits, and it was later found that she managed to blow most of it. How did Mary have access to this money? Well, she was in charge of the controlled accounts at a credit union, including a savings account for the school. She was also responsible for paying the living expenses of the nuns that worked at St. James.

For a while there, Kreuper managed to get away by falsifying reports and writing off expenses as anything other than what she was spending on. Investigators soon discovered the luxurious trips to the Las Vegas casino, and the retired nun faced with an uncomfortable confrontation.

Thankfully, conviction hasn’t fully ascended from Mary’s heart, and she plead guilty to the charges of one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. The retired nun is now facing up to forty years in prison for the not-so-innocent deeds. These federal charges may seem a bit harsh - but considering that a representative of faith did this, the punishment is an excellent example to set for others.

The most mind-boggling aspect of this story is that Mary swore to live a life in poverty. A Vow of Poverty is a strange act that’s done in the name of representing Jesus Christ, who abandoned His status in heaven and lived a poor lifestyle for the sake of His people. The concept is wrong from the start, as it’s impossible that Jesus lived in poverty considering that he received massive loads of expensive gifts when He was born. But that’s beside the fact - Mary didn’t follow through whatsoever.

Reportedly Mary Kreuper is very sorry for her actions and regrets every last bit of it. It was also reported that she had a mental illness that prompted her to commit these crimes. However, the concise planning and the intelligent scheme tell us a different story - she knew exactly what she was doing and did so using lots of brainpower.

Perhaps God will forgive a decade of embezzlement, but the aftermath of Mary’s actions will begin to take place shortly, as she is about to spend some time in a place much more unpleasant than a church bench. Let’s hope the trips to Vegas were worth it!

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