Teacher charged illegally high interest: Nassau DA

TimesLedger Newspapers

LONG ISLAND — An Astoria gym teacher was charged with loan sharking last week after he allegedly floated money at an annual interest rate more than four times the legal limit, the Nassau County district attorney said.

Sean Harris, 36, of Long Island, was charged with asecond-degree criminal usury after loaning $40,000 out at a rate of 2 percent per week, which adds up to 104 percent for the year, Nassau DA Kathleen Rice said.

Any interest rate topping 25 percent per year is considered criminal, according to the DA.

Harris, a professional bodybuilder and physical education teacher at IS 141, at 36-12 35th Ave., could face up to four years behind bars, the DA said.

“This defendant was trusted to educate children and serve as a positive role model in their lives, but instead he conducted himself like a common criminal,” Rice said.

Harris has another pending case in Nassau County after he was arrested June 30 in connection with steroid possession.

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