A pair of Catholic school nuns in California allegedly embezzled up to $500,000 in tuition, fees and donations from a school for activities such as gambling at Las Vegas.
The Press-Telegram reported that last Monday, officials from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said at a meeting that Sisters Mary Margaret Kreuper and Lana Chang took the money from the St. James Catholic School.
Krueper had been a principal at the school for almost 30 years, while Chang was a teacher for about 20 years. Both retired at the end of this past school year.
Shortly after, St. James Catholic Church became aware of the alleged embezzlement, according to reports.
Officials alleged that Krueper and Chang used some of the money for personal trips and gambling.
ABC 7, a local news affiliate, reported that the nuns have admitted to stealing.
“They’re taking away the money from kids in school, from kids that need the money. To do that, it’s terrible,” Francis Grimes of St. James Catholic Church told the news outlet.
The embezzlement was discovered after an audit and the figure only represents what auditors have discovered from six years worth of bank records, officials said.
“We do know that they had a pattern of going on trips. We do know they had a pattern of going to casinos, and the reality is, they used the account as their personal account,” an attorney said at a recent meeting, according to NBC News.
The news outlet noted that church officials had previously said that they weren’t interested in press charges against the nuns. But police will follow the case and present findings to the Los Angeles Count District Attorney’s office.