Nun, 79, scammed Catholic school out of £565k to fund her secret gambling trips

A California nun will plead guilty to swindling almost £600,000 from the Catholic elementary school she ran to help pay for her gambling trips, federal prosecutors said.

Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, was charged Tuesday with wire fraud and money laundering for ripping off St. James Catholic School for a period of 10 years which ended in September 2010, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Kreuper, who was the principal of the school in California, US, for 28 years, agreed to plead guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors, according to a release from its state office.

The New York Post reports a plea agreement which says Sister Mary Kreuper allegedly used her position to "funnel" $835,339 (£565,000) of the school’s funds.

It says she used the cash “to pay for expenses that the order would not have approved, much less paid for, including large gambling expenses incurred at casinos and certain credit card charges.”

US prosecutors said the nun was in charge of overseeing tuition money, fees the school received and charitable donations.

She also said to have controlled the school’s credit union accounts, which she is accused of using to divert other funds into that she would then use for the spending.

Prosecutors reported she had also admitted to falsifying the school’s financial records during her time at the school,

She is due to be appear again in court to officially make her plea and defend the charges on July 1.

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