Torrance Embezzlement Case Roils Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Torrance Embezzlement Case Roils Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Torrance Embezzlement Case Roils Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Two nuns found themselves at the center of an embezzlement case involving a Torrance Catholic elementary school. According to investigators, the women took about a half million dollars from the school over the last decade.

Diocesan officials say the women used misdirected tuition and donations to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas. One woman served as the school’s principal. The other taught eighth grade. Earlier this year, both women retired. Ironically, the principal’s retirement initiated a standard financial audit, which turned up the losses.

When diocesan officials confronted the women, they admitted the thefts. The women, who are cooperating with the investigation, have agreed to repay the money. Initially, the parish that operates the school did not want to press charges. Following the audit, however, parish officials changed their minds. The enormous amount of the thefts played a role in that decision.

At about the same time the school initiated the audit, a parish family noted an irregularity with a donation check. The donors reported that the nuns deposited their donation check into a personal bank account. Following the report, the principal asked the staff to alter the family’s donation record. Investigators later discovered that the principal had a system for rerouting certain checks presented to the school. Some checks would be forwarded to the bookkeeper, while others she retained for herself. According to school officials, the misdirected funds should have gone to the school’s’ reserve fund.

Neither woman has been arrested in connection with the thefts, but the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has filed a criminal complaint in the case.

Torrance Embezzlement Attorney

When you face theft charges related to your employment, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes embezzlement cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Embezzlement is a form of grand theft. While victims want to see justice done, they also want their money back! Restitution (and the ability to make restitution) is central to a just outcome in a grand theft case. Most often the needs of the victim are not served by long prison sentences.

An experienced, aggressive attorney who focuses on your case is an essential part of your defense strategy. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that you have no options!

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.

Photo Credit: Noel Tock, via

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