The local KDVR station reports that over the course of several years, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang set aside funds for St. James Catholic School to spend on a variety of personal costs. Though it’s "nun" of our business, they ironically used a lot of the money to fly to Sin City and gamble it away, Monsignor Michael Meyers wrote in a letter to parishioners.
Sister Mary Margaret had been working at the school for 28 years as its principal. She retired from the K-8 institution in June, and it was during an audit of her retirement that the church realized checks were being cashed into questionable accounts. As of this report, the cashed checks amount to around half a million dollars.
Sister Margaret’s accomplice was eighth grade teacher Sister Chang, who also retired earlier this year after 20 years. “Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you, the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers,” Meyers wrote in the letter. “They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school.”
For some reason the church is deciding not to press criminal charges, but rather handle the sisters “internally through the investigation, restitution, and sanctions on the sisters,” which honestly sounds even worse. The Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the order these two nuns belong to, are also working to replace the funds taken from the school and create new methods to prevent dubious nuns from stealing in the future.
“I want to assure you that the investigation has disclosed that, notwithstanding this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations,” Meyers letter reads. “We have initiated additional procedures and oversight policies for financial management and reporting responsibilities.”
All in all, this seems like a classic tale of "crime and nunishment."