US nuns 'admit embezzling $500,000 to pay for Las Vegas gambling trips'
TWO nuns who taught in a Catholic school in the US have admitted embezzling around $500,000 to pay for gambling trips to Las Vegas.
Sisters Mary Margaret Kreuper and Lana Chang, who are said to be best friends, took the money from tuition, fees and donations at St James's Catholic School in Torrance, south of Los Angeles.
They are thought to have siphoned off the cash over a decade.
Neither has been charged.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said the missing money was discovered during a routine audit.
Kreuper was principal at the school for 29 years until her retirement earlier this year. Chang, who was a teacher for 20 years, also retired this year.
"Our community is concerned and saddened by this situation and regret any injury to our long relationship with the families of the school," the Sister of St Joseph of Carondelet, the nuns' order, said in a statement.
"The Sisters of St Joseph both desire and intend to make complete restitution to St James School."
The school's priest, Monsignor Michael Meyers, wrote to parents last month to inform them.
"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," Monsignor Meyers wrote.
"They and their order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school."
He added that no other school staff were implicated in the theft.
Meyers said the school did not wish to pursue criminal proceedings against the pair.
The nuns allegedly got away with their crime by depositing some cheques made out to the school for tuition and other fees into a bank account different than the one used by the school.