School: Nuns Used 'Forgotten' Account, Stole Up to $500K

11 Décembre, 2018, 05:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

The school said that the two women, reportedly best friends, used the pilfered funds on trips and casino visits. Kreuper served almost 29 years as principal while Chang was an eight-grade teacher and later worked as vice principal, the archdiocese said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Chang taught pupils. According to information obtained by the paper, "the nuns had expressed remorse, and the archdiocese and the church were not pursuing criminal charges".

They described a system in which Kreuper handled all checks meant to the school for tuition and fees before handing them over to bookkeeping.

Sister Lana was an eighth grade teacher at the school who retired this year, too, after 20 years, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Michael Meyers, the church's monsignor, explained that a family wanted a copy of a check made out to the school, and staff found that it was deposited into a bank account other than the school's, according to the Beach Reporter. She allegedly endorsed the cheque with a stamp saying, "St. James Convent", not "St. James School".

The nuns then allegedly told parents that the school was operating on a tight budget, said parents and officials.

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It was common knowledge around the school that the pair enjoyed traveling and gambling, but they claimed the source of the ill-gotten cash was a "rich uncle". "To do that, it's awful", said Francis Grimes of St. James Catholic Church, according to the ABC affiliate report.

Meyers said both nuns acknowledged the theft when confronted, apologized and are cooperating with an ongoing investigation.

The auditor later confirmed Meyers' suspicions, he said at the alumni meeting. "They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school". Only Chang and Kreuper knew about the account, they added.

"We have initiated additional procedures and oversight policies for financial management and reporting responsibilities", Meyers told parishioners said, according to ABC 7.

No student or program has "suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations" as a result of the misappropriation of funds, Meyers wrote, emphasizing to parents that their children's education "has not and will not be affected by these events". "I appreciate the efforts of the school staff to date and will continue to work with them directly on these issues".

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