80-year-old nun gets prison for stealing $835,000 from California elementary school

Originally published at: 80-year-old nun gets prison for stealing $835,000 from California elementary school | Boing Boing


Kreuper, who as a nun had taken a vow of poverty, diverted school funds into the St. James Convent Account and the St. James Savings Account

Another member of the clergy stealing because of trips to the casino story. We see that a lot in the Philly press, because of proximity to casinos in the Tri-State Area (NJ, PA, and DE). When are school districts going to stop banning and burning books, and start focusing on how the account books are being kept? Following basic accounting control principles for authorizations would prevent this kind of theft (all expenditures require two signatures, and limits on debit cards).


Does that seem strikingly low to anyone else?

Over $800,000 disappears over a period of 10 years and they manage to get one count of wire fraud and one of money laundering out of it? For a whole 12 months in jail and some restitution requirements that are probably mostly ceremonial given the defendant’s age and employability?

Sounds like they either had pitifully little(at least that they felt like doing the legwork on) and so agreed to drop pretty much everything if she agreed to plead guilty to something; or someone was feeling extremely generous.


I guess she wasn’t on board with the whole vow-of-poverty thing after all.


She just chose a different path to achieve it. :game_die:


Were these some of her favourite things?


Reminds me of a scene in Dead Man Walking where the nun gets pulled over for speeding and the trooper lets her go with a warning:

Maybe there’s a superstitious DA who doesn’t want the wrath of god for going too hard on an elderly nun, even one who has committed massive embezzlement.


It sounds like this nun had a… gambling habit.



Add in the CSI image and I’ll be happy to nominate you as winner of the topic.


:notes:She turned 81 in prison doing life without parol :musical_note:




I’ve personally known three people that I’ve interacted on a regular basis with for work who have proven to be embezzlers. None were nuns, but two stole over $500K and one embezzled several hundred thousand dollars. In all three cases, it was a long-term trusted employee stealing from their successful entrepreneurial boss.

In each case, I thought I knew the person well enough to know that there was no way that they would be capable of stealing large sums of money from someone they were close to, who even considered them a friend. Each shattered my faith in human nature in profound ways, and I no longer have the same confidence in being able to read a person, as I once had.

In trying to grasp how this ever happens to “normal” people, it seems to often just be a series of almost innocent acts that start them on the wrong path, and then copious amounts of justification are slathered over any initial feelings of guilt. Eventually, I think the embezzlers feel like they have to continue with their criminal acts in order to not be found out, and they convince themselves that they are totally justified in their actions. The underlying feeling of justification is the most significant commonality between the cases I’m personally familiar with, and I’m sure that it only sustains itself because of the incremental nature of the process. In that regard, it’s not that different from becoming a Nazi or Q-nut. You don’t wake up that way . . . you slowly drift into the mire.


‘No, see, I took a vow someone would end up in poverty. I never vowed Iwould’.


Nuns can get in a lot of trouble in those casinos.


In my case, it was our dentist’s admin assistant, whom we had known for about 30 years — a charming, friendly, and efficient woman. Two years ago we found she had been replaced, and it turned out she had stolen about $250,000 over the years.

Even when you are not directly affected, it comes as a shock .


Visiting a casino is not incompatible with a vow of poverty.


This led me to wonder about other cases of theft by members of the clergy (amounts over six figures, megachurch donations excluded). In my state, theft of property worth more than $2,000 is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. In these cases the penalties varied, but none were even close to what I expected, based on whose money was taken (and probably not repaid or assigned penalties over seven times the amount stolen):

7 years

3 years

2 years (Canadians are nice, right?)

8 months

90 days

no jail time


Jim Bakker was originally sentenced to 45 years, but ended up with a new sentence of 8 years, but only served 5 before getting paroled…


The judge sounded way too sympathetic frankly. He went on and on about losing sleep over sentencing her.


Take this heart click and GO.

[continues chortling to self]