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News

Bergen Schoolteacher Charged With Pocketing $300,000 In Ponzi Scheme

Suzette Hart
Suzette Hart Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

A Hackensack schoolteacher from Oradell ran a Ponzi scheme that fleeced investors of $300,000 that she used for herself, authorities announced Monday.

Suzette Hart, 54, “solicited multiple investors for various high-yield, well-known investment opportunities knowing that the investments were fraudulent” over a five-year period, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.

Hart, who most recently taught at Hackensack’s Fairmount School, 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” when it wasn’t, Musella said.

Instead, the 26-year teaching veteran “used [it] for her own personal expenses,” the prosecutor said.

Hart's salary last year was $115,040, according to the state Department of Education.

A judge released Hart pending further court action shortly after Musella’s Financial Crimes Unit detectives arrested her on theft by deception charges last Tuesday, records show.

Musella thanked the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and Oradell police for their assistance in the investigation.

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