A Catholic school in California appears in the headlines after two longtime nuns stole their funds and used the money on luxurious vacations and gambling. According to various media outlets, the sisters who are educators at the same school have allegedly embezzled above 500,000 dollars (over Rs. 3.5 crores) in tuition, fees and donations for at least ten years while telling parents that the school was operating on a tight budget. The investigators, on the other hand, have found that the two gave some of the stolen money back to the school and the remaining was used for their “personal gain.” Nuns From St Joseph Orphanage in Vermont Accused of Sexually Abusing, Torturing and Murdering Children Between 1940-70.
According to the Press-Telegram reports, the duo identified as Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang was also the educators at St. James Catholic School. Sister Mary served as the principal of the school for about 29 years and has recently retired was handling all tuition cheques and fees. She withheld some checks and deposited them into an account that only she and Chang knew, who was working at the school for about 20 years as an eighth-grade teacher and assistant principal. Both the nuns have retired at the end of the academic year 2017-18. The investigation was initiated after a financial review for Sister Mary’s retirement.
As per a letter which was sent to the parents by the school’s pastor Monsignor Michael Meyers, the internal study revealed that both the nuns had used the school funds for their personal use. The figure represents only what the auditors have traced in the six years of bank records. This might not include other cash transactions. The entire scandal was intimated to the parents at a meeting at St. James Catholic Church. Meyers also stressed that the Archdiocese will not initiate any criminal process against the nuns but will address the situation internally. In the meeting, the parents expressed their outrage and even claimed that they knew about the nuns’ often trip that was gifted by a ‘rich relative.’
“Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked me to convey to them the deep remorse that each one feels for their actions and ask for their forgiveness and prayers,” Meyers said in the letter as quoted by NBC Los Angeles. He further stated that, “I want to assure you that the investigation has revealed that despite this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities or innovations. The education of your children has not been affected or will be affected by these events.”