Nun Pleads Guilty to Taking Archdiocese Money, Using It to Gamble

A Roman Catholic nun accused of taking more than $250,000 from the Archdiocese of Omaha and gambling much of it away has pleaded guilty to theft.

Sister Barbara Markey entered the plea to a charge of theft of more than $1,500 on Monday in Douglas County District Court, according to her attorney, J. William Gallup. She also agreed to pay $125,000 in restitution to the archdiocese.

In exchange, Gallup said, the state and the archdiocese agreed not to object to probation for the 73-year-old Markey. Her sentencing is set for July, and she faces up to 20 years in prison.

Markey, a nationally and internationally known speaker, was fired in January 2006 as director of the archdiocese's Family Life Office, after an archdiocese audit turned up irregularities.

According to the audit, Markey spent $307,545 for her own use or without documentation between December 2003 and January 2006.

Prosecutors have said Markey used the archdiocese money to cover gambling forays, gifts and trips.