Penalty for Sin
An American nun gets a year in prison for stealing $835,000.

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Mary Mar­garet Kre­uper, a retired nun, has admit­ted she broke her vow of pover­ty by steal­ing $835,000 (£616,000) from a Cal­i­for­nia school where she worked to fund her gambling.

Kre­uper, 80, will spend a year and a day in prison for wire fraud and mon­ey laundering.

“I have sinned, I have bro­ken the law and I have no excuse,” she said dur­ing her sen­tenc­ing in Los Angeles.

For more than a decade, Kre­uper embez­zled tuition and dona­tion funds from St James Catholic School where she was headmistress.

She then instruct­ed oth­er school employ­ees to “alter and destroy finan­cial records” to cov­er up her crime.

The mon­ey, which pros­e­cu­tors say could have cov­ered tuition for more than a dozen stu­dents, was spent on trips to casi­nos and vaca­tions for Kre­uper and his friends.

The scheme was revealed dur­ing an audit fol­low­ing Kre­uper’s retire­ment in 2018.

When announc­ing his sen­tenc­ing, US Dis­trict Court Judge Otis D Wright II said he strug­gled to weigh the legal penal­ties against the par­don appli­ca­tions of Catholic fam­i­lies whose chil­dren were schooled at St James. He ordered Kre­uper to spend 12 months and a day behind bars and to reim­burse the school for the $835,339 in restitution.

Kre­uper told the judge she was “deeply sor­ry” and would spend the rest of her life try­ing to “fol­low more close­ly in the foot­steps of Christ.”

Her lawyers said she suf­fered from a men­tal ill­ness which “cloud­ed her judgement”.

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