‘Jeopardy!’ champion, ex-con arrested, put on leave from teaching job at elite NYC school over ‘inappropriate sexualized images’

Winston Nguyen is an ex-convict who swindled $300,000 from an elderly couple and a former “Jeopardy!” champion. However, the current teacher at an elite New York City private school has most recently made headlines for being arrested for the alleged “dissemination of intimate images via social media,” according to officials.

Nguyen is currently a math teacher at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights. According to the school’s website, preschool tuition starts at $52,900 and goes up to $60,525 for high school students.

The elite NYC school has celebrity alumni, including actress Lena Dunham, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Maya Hawk – the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

Saint Ann hired Nguyen as a middle- and high-school math teacher in 2020 – just one year after he was released from the prison on Rikers Island.

While at Rikers Island, Nguyen reportedly called into a radio show to speak to then-Mayor Bill de Blasio to complain about the prison’s conditions.

Nguyen had been convicted of stealing $300,000 from a 96-year-old blind man and his 92-year-old wife, according to the New York Post. Nguyen had been a home health aide to the elderly couple while stealing the money to allegedly pay for pricey ballet tickets and trips to Florida.

Regarding Nguyen’s criminal history, a Saint Ann’s spokesperson told the Daily Beast, “A nonviolent criminal record may not preclude employment. The school gives a careful and discerning assessment of a job candidate’s potential fit with the school.”

In response to the current accusations against Nguyen, the spokesperson stated: “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement in their efforts, and right now we’re focused on helping our students process this news.”

The spokesperson confirmed that Nguyen is a “suspect in an ongoing investigation related to the dissemination of intimate images via social media.”

The spokesperson added, “Upon his arrest on Thursday, he was immediately placed on leave by the school and he remains on leave.”

Saint Ann’s Head of School Kenyatte Reid reportedly notified parents that the teacher was arrested, and it was linked to “inappropriate sexualized images.”

“I was informed this evening by the assistant district attorney that his arrest is in relation to an investigation that dates back to January 2024,” Reid wrote in an email to parents.

Nguyen has yet to be charged with any crimes and was released on Saturday. However, his defense attorney is awaiting information from prosecutors regarding potential charges.

Lawyer Frank Rothman told the New York Post, “We are awaiting a decision from the Brooklyn DA’s office regarding charges against Mr. Nguyen. We are expecting some movement in the near future.”

Rothman informed the Daily Beast, “I don’t think this is something that’s just going to be a non-issue. There’s going to be an issue. The question is, how big and when?”

Nguyen garnered some fame in 2014 when he became a “Jeopardy!” champion.

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