LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A retired nun accused of gambling with the funds of a Torrance Catholic school where she worked as the principal faces federal prison time after pleading guilty Thursday.
Mary Margaret Kreuper faced a judge Thursday and pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.
Kreuper served as the principal St. James Catholic School in Torrance for 28 years, and allegedly used more than $830,000 of the school’s funds to support a gambling habit and pay for other personal expenses. Her attorneys say the 79-year-old woman has been suffering from a mental illness that clouded her judgment.
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II said he personally found the case to be a struggle because he had been raised as a Roman Catholic “and was educated by nuns. And I don’t look at nuns as ordinary people.”
Kreuper faces up to 40 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on Feb. 7, 2022.