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Ex-Edison HS teacher accused of targeting co-workers in pyramid scheme settles lawsuit with state

Jennifer Gutierrez-Antuna agrees to no longer promote pyramid schemes, engage in false business practices

SAN ANTONIO – A former Edison High School teacher sued by the Texas Attorney General’s Office last year after several complaints accused her of organizing a pyramid scheme that targeted her co-workers has settled the case, according to Bexar County District Clerk’s Office records.

As part of the Dec. 9 settlement agreement, Jennifer Gutierrez-Antuna will not have to admit wrongdoing but is now permanently banned from promoting pyramid schemes and engaging in false or misleading business practices.

A judgment against Gutierrez-Antuna for $55,400 has been suspended for 10 years, meaning she will not have to pay the fine unless she violates the agreement during that period of time.

Edison HS teachers accused of targeting co-workers, others in pyramid scheme

Gutierrez-Antuna, a special education teacher at the time, was sued by the attorney general’s office in May 2018, weeks after a Defenders investigation revealed that she had been named in multiple complaints as the organizer of a blessing loom, a gifting game that is described as a version of a pyramid scheme.

DEFENDERS UPDATE: Edison HS teacher accused in pyramid scheme sued by Texas AG

People pay, or gift, a set amount of money to enter the loom’s outside row.

When the loom fills up, the person in the center gets the money and the loom splits, moving everyone up a level and closer to the middle.

Sources say around 20 Edison staff members — including teachers, counselors and custodians — took part in the game.
Sources say around 20 Edison staff members — including teachers, counselors and custodians — took part in the game. (KSAT)

Three alleged victims, who spoke with the KSAT 12 Defenders last year on the condition that they remain anonymous, said that they paid $1,400 to enter Gutierrez-Antuna’s game in late 2016.

The victims, one of whom worked with Gutierrez-Antuna at the time, said they were told their “gift” would turn into between $5,400 and $11,200.

“It was going good. Teachers were getting paid. Then, all of a sudden, it stopped,” said one victim.

She estimated that around 20 Edison staff members — including teachers, counselors and custodians — took part in the game.

“She took all my savings, the little that I had to retire, and now I’m broke,” said the woman, who claimed last year that she was now living on a $400 monthly state pension check.

A man who identified himself as Gutierrez-Antuna’s husband said via telephone last year that his wife first joined the game at a restaurant event and was nothing more than a participant in it.

State records, however, painted Gutierrez-Antuna as the scheme’s ringleader.

Softball coach Aimee Silva, a second Edison High School employee characterized in state records as one of the blessing loom’s organizers, resigned in December 2017, a San Antonio Independent School District spokeswoman confirmed.

It appears Silva was never sued by the state over the complaints against her.

Gutierrez-Antuna resigned in May 2018, the SAISD spokeswoman confirmed.


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