Two nuns have been accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from a Catholic school to help fund trips to Las Vegas, according to local reports.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said the nuns working at St. James Catholic School in Torrance, California, may have taken as much as $500,000 in tuition, fees and donations, reports KABC-TV.
The money was allegedly used on travel and gambling. KABC reports the $500,000 figure is based only on what auditors found and could include additional cash transactions.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Monsignor Michael Meyers of St. James Catholic School said the nuns, identified as Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang, stole a "substantial" amount of school funds.
The misuse of funds was uncovered during a standard audit after Kreuper's retirement, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Kreuper was the school's principal, AP reported.
"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," Meyers said in his letter, reports AP.
In a statement, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the order the nuns represent, said the nuns have been placed in a religious house under the supervision of community leadership.
"As a religious community, we will not defend the actions of our Sisters," said the order in their statement. "What happened is wrong. Our Sisters take full responsibility for the choices they made and are subject to the law."
The archdiocese notified police, but doesn't plan to press charges, reports the AP.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Two nuns accused of stealing thousands of dollars, gambling in Las Vegas