A New Jersey teacher scammed investors out of more than $300,000 in a Ponzi-like scheme over the span of five years, prosecutors said.
Suzette R. Hart, who teaches English as a second language at Hackensack High School, was arrested on Oct. 13 on a count of theft by deception after an investigation launched in May found she solicited several investors for “high-yield” and “well-known” ventures that she knew were fraudulent, Bergen County prosecutors said Monday.
“Hart then disbursed money from one investor to other investors, which reinforced the deception that the investor’s money had been properly invested and was producing profit,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said in a statement.
Hart, 54, of Oradell, took in more than $300,000 over the span of five years and used those funds for unspecified personal expenses while making no investments, Musella said.
The district’s website on Tuesday identified Hart as a teacher at Hackensack High School. Hackensack Public Schools Superintendent Robert Sanchez declined to comment on her employment status when reached for comment by The Post Tuesday, citing personnel matters.
Hart is accused of duping her victims, including friends and colleagues, from 2012 through 2017, according to court documents obtained by NJ.com. She earns a salary of $115,440 with the Hackensack Public School District, records cited by the outlet show.
Hart, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, was released on a summons pending her initial court appearance in Hackensack, Musella said. It’s unclear if she’s hired an attorney.