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

Jennifer Gutierrez-Antuna targeted co-workers, state says

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Weeks after the KSAT 12 Defenders first revealed the investigation publicly, the Texas Attorney General's Office has filed a lawsuit against an Edison High School teacher accused of targeting her co-workers and others in an illegal pyramid scheme.

Jennifer Gutierrez-Antuna used her position as a special education teacher to recruit members to a gifting game, according to a deceptive trade practices lawsuit filed last week in state district court.

The game, often called a blessing loom, involves participants paying a fee 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.

Related: Edison High School teachers accused of targeting co-workers in pyramid scheme

Multiple people who spoke with the Defenders said they paid Gutierrez-Antuna $1,400 to enter the game after she promised them payouts of $5,400 to $11,200.

Gutierrez-Antuna then refused to return participants' money and stopped communicating with them, according to the lawsuit and several people interviewed by the Defenders.

A second Edison High School employee implicated in the scheme, softball coach Aimee Silva, resigned in December, a San Antonio Independent School District spokeswoman confirmed last month.

Silva is named in one of the affidavits attached to the lawsuit, but has so far not been sued by the state.

Gutierrez-Antuna has also submitted her resignation, but will remain on paid administrative leave through the end of the school year, the spokeswoman said via email Wednesday.

Gutierrez-Antuna has not responded to repeated requests for comment from the Defenders.

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

Complaints filed with the attorney general's office last year said Gutierrez-Antuna not only recruited co-workers to join the looms, but also held meetings at Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, restaurants and homes in different parts of town to bring in participants not affiliated with Edison High School.

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