Holley, NY – A Roman Catholic nun suspected of stealing from the church pleaded guilty to grand larceny on Monday. The story goes, this holy high-roller made off with over $100,000 fetched from the offering box and fed right into her gambling addiction.
Last November, Sister Mary Anne Rapp pleaded not guilty to the charge of second degree grand larceny after being accused of stealing $128,000 from St. Mark’s Church in Kendall and St. Mary’s Church in Holley between 2006 and 2011.
She was placed on administrative leave after discrepancies were discovered. “A lot of these were checks, so it was pretty easy to discover,” said Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone. “The Diocese does a great job of auditing on a periodic basis and it was a result of that audit that this was discovered.”
But she finally came clean on Monday, admitting to the theft of $128,000 from both churches during the noted time period. She’ll be sentenced in July, and faces up to six months in jail, five years probation, or some combination of the two.
Rapp has been a nun for nearly 50 years, but started stealing from the church to feed an apparent gambling addiction. It was not made clear why she would steal from the church, or even how she got so hooked on gambling, but defense attorney James Harrington said last year that stories like Sister Rapp’s are becoming increasingly common.
“Unfortunately, it’s a situation that’s applying to a lot of people…people who would never commit crimes, who would never go to casinos or other gambling places and start gambling, they get into trouble and it starts to spiral and that’s what happens,” he said.
God will probably forgive this gambling nun, but the law is the law. Stealing is a sin, but let’s not forget that it’s also illegal.
Nun admits stealing $128K