While I do not condone embezzlement or taking vows of any kind, stories about nuns embezzling and gambling are of particular interest to me, possibly because I have seen both Doubt and The Little Hours and these films have formed the entirety of my knowledge of nuns.
But whatever the reason, I very much appreciate this story about a nun who had been in the profession for 59 years before admitting to embezzling $835,000 from St James Catholic School in Torrance, California, over the course of a decade. Especially now that Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper is officially sorry, at least in statements to the Washington Post:
“As soon as she was confronted she accepted full responsibility for what she had done and she has cooperated completely with law enforcement and the Archdiocese,” the statement said, noting that “later in her life she has been suffering from a mental illness that clouded her judgment and caused her to do something that she otherwise would not have done.”
According to prosecutors, Sister Mary Margaret not only embezzled for a decade, but she also managed to lauder the donations she used to gamble by diverting them to the St. James Covenant Account, which was intended for the needs of the nuns working at the school, destroying incriminating documents along the way. These discrepancies were only discovered after her retirement, and Kreuper now faces 40 years in prison, which is less than she served as a bride of Christ. What stories about the crime refuse to tell me, however, is what kind of gambling we’re talking about: penny slots, high stakes poker games, playing the ponies? Were there suites in Vegas? Wayne Newton tickets? I need a full documentary on this, is what I am saying, and as it seems that streaming services will make a documentary about literally any crime these days, that doesn’t seem like much of an ask at all.