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2 women face sentencing in 'gifting table' scheme

Associated Press

Publication: theday.com

Published August 05. 2013 8:00AM   Updated August 05. 2013 8:59AM

Hartford  (AP) — Two Guilford women are facing sentencing after they were guilty of running a gifting table pyramid scheme.

Donna Bello and Jill Platt are scheduled to be sentenced Monday in federal court in Hartford. They were convicted in February of charges including wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors said Bello and Platt operated the scam from 2008 to 2011 and it often targeted women in financial distress. Prosecutors said the scheme involved women joining the clubs by giving $5,000 "gifts" to other table members. The new members climbed up the rankings by recruiting new members and left the tables after receiving $40,000 from new members.

Platt's attorney had said everything she did was legal and based upon the advice of lawyers. Bello's attorney denied it was a pyramid scheme.

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