A PAIR of Catholic nuns have been accused of stealing up to half a million dollars from a school to gamble at the casinos.
Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Change are alleged to have embezzled money belonging to St James Catholic School in Torrance, California.
According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the nuns regularly told parents the school was operating on a tight budget while quietly funnelling off thousands in the form of fees, donations and tuition.
It was only during a recent audition of the school's accounts that evidence was uncovered suggesting they had been taking money intended for the school and using it to fund trips to a casino where they are thought to have gambled using more ill-gotten gains.
The report indicates Kreuper was able to access funds while serving as principal at the school with the improper use of funds stretching back at least 10 years.
It also stresses that while $500,000 in funds are thought to have been spent in this manner, it may only be the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, that number "represents only what auditors have been able to trace in six years' of bank records" and that many more cash transactions may still be unaccounted for.
Officials from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles informed parents and alumni at a meeting in Redondo Beach that now-retired Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang had been reported to the police over the incident.
The nuns' order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has agreed to pay back the money in full though it remains unclear whether or not either the school or the pupil's parents, will press charges.