Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Arrested at Elite School

Winston Nguyen, a former convict and current math teacher at the prestigious St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, was arrested last week amid an investigation into the distribution of explicit images on social media. Nguyen, who once appeared on the game show “Jeopardy!”, had previously served time in Rikers for stealing $300,000 from an elderly couple.

The arrest took place at the school in Brooklyn Heights, in front of a group of students. Although Nguyen was not charged, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into the matter. He was released two days after his arrest.

Nguyen’s attorney, Frank Rothman, confirmed that they are awaiting a decision from the Brooklyn DA’s office regarding potential charges. The school, where annual tuition exceeds $60,000, confirmed that Nguyen is a suspect in an ongoing investigation related to the sharing of intimate images on social media.

Following his arrest, Nguyen was immediately placed on leave by the school, where he has been teaching since 2020, a year after his release from Rikers Island. On the day of his arrest, the school’s head, Kenyatte Reid, informed parents of the situation, revealing the nature of the investigation a few days later.

Reid communicated to parents that the investigation, which dates back to January 2024, involves “inappropriate sexualized images”. He also confirmed that Nguyen has been prohibited from contacting anyone in the school community or visiting the school premises.

Nguyen’s previous stint in Rikers was due to his exploitation of an elderly couple, whom he used as a personal source of funds, stealing over $300,000 while working as their home health aide. He used the stolen money to fund personal luxuries, including ballet tickets and a trip to Florida.

During his incarceration, Nguyen criticized the conditions at the Department of Corrections, even calling into a radio show to discuss the matter with Mayor Bill de Blasio. He later filed a lawsuit against the city.

St. Ann’s School, which has a reputation for its rigorous background checks during the hiring process, stated that a nonviolent criminal record does not necessarily disqualify a candidate from employment. The school emphasized its commitment to a thorough assessment of a candidate’s suitability for the school environment.

St. Ann’s School is known for its high-profile alumni, including “Girls” creator Lena Dunham, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Maya Hawk, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. The school’s tuition starts at $52,900 for preschoolers and goes up to $60,525 for high school students, not including additional fees.