Church says nuns embezzled from SoCal school to cover Vegas gambling trips

- Church officials say a pair of nuns embezzled a "substantial" amount of money from the Southern California Catholic school where they worked for decades and used it to pay for gambling trips to Las Vegas casinos.

Adrian Alarcon, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said Monday the embezzlement appears to have gone on for about 10 years.

During that time Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper was principal of Saint James Catholic School in Redondo Beach. Sister Lana Chang taught eighth grade there. Both retired earlier this year.

The nuns belong to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, which says both nuns have apologized and promised to make restitution.

Alarcon says the exact amount involved is still being tabulated.

"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 Michael Meyers said in a Nov. 28, 2018 letter to church parishioners. "They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school."

The archdiocese has reported the situation to police. An investigation is ongoing.

The Torrance Police Department said church officials want to pursue charges. However, none have been filed.

Some parents FOX 11 spoke to off camera were livid the school initially declined to press charges.  One parent said they asked the Monsignor to step down at last week's meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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