After confessing to embezzling close to a million dollars in school funds, a former Catholic school principal and nun is headed to prison. The 80-year-old nun, who took more than $835,000 to support her gambling habit, reportedly used some of the funds to take trips to Las Vegas.


In 2021, a California nun and retired elementary school principal confessed to stealing over $835,000 from the Catholic school where she worked for close to 30 years. She has now reportedly been sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to federal wire charges and money laundering charges.

Mary Margaret Kreuper became a nun when she was only 18-years-old, per the report. Defense attorneys for Kreuper reportedly said that the nun accepted full responsibility for what she had done as soon as she was confronted about the matter.

Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash
Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Why did the gambling nun only get a year in prison?

While prosecutors reportedly recommended a 24-month prison sentence, the nun has been handed down just a year and a day for her charges. Following being charged, the nun's attorneys reportedly released a statement saying that Sister Mary Margaret suffered, "from mental illness that clouded her judgement and caused her to do something that she otherwise would not have done. She is very sorry for any harm she has caused".

The nun reportedly acknowledged that in a ten-year period, she embezzled a total of $835,339 from St. James Catholic School. The report adds that Kreuper at one point instructed employees of the school to destroy documents in order to avoid being exposed by an audit.

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How did the gambling nun use the stolen money?

Kreuper reportedly diverted these funds into secret accounts. Those funds were put towards gambling expenses as well as trips to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Temecula per her plea agreement as stated in the report.

The nun reportedly admitted to misleading the school and its administration in regards to its financial well-being in order to maintain control of the money.

See the full report from @ABC7 on Twitter below.

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