URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: 2 Connecticut Cash-Gifting Pyramid Schemers Sentenced To Combined 10.5 Years In Federal Prison; Probe ‘Ongoing,’ Feds Say

breakingnews72URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: UPDATED 10:18 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Two Connecticut women convicted of wire fraud and filing false tax returns in a multimillion-dollar cash gifting scam have been sentenced to a combined 10.5 years in federal prison, federal prosecutors announced tonight.

Donna Bello, 57, was sentenced to six years. Jill Platt, 65, was sentenced to four and a half years years. Both women reside in Guilford and were ringleaders in the Women’s Gifting Tables scam, prosecutors said.

Bello and Platt both were ordered to serve three years’ supervised probation after their release. Bello also was fined $15,000. Both women were ordered to pay a combined total of $32,000 in restitution to several victims

“These significant sentences are appropriate for two individuals who profited from an illegal pyramid scheme and conspired to conceal their income from the IRS,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly. “The investigation into this and other Gifting Tables schemes in Connecticut is ongoing.  Hopefully, this successful prosecution and the prison terms imposed today will serve as a strong deterrent and end this criminal activity.”

Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson imposed the sentences.

From a statement tonight by prosecutors (italics added):

From approximately 2008 to 2011, BELLO, 57, and PLATT, 65, oversaw and profited from this Gifting Tables pyramid scheme.  The defendants recruited individuals to join the scheme, prepared and distributed materials to recruits that contained false representations, and affirmatively misrepresented to recruits and participants that Gifting Tables was not a pyramid scheme.  Also, in May 2010, the defendants attempted to intimidate a participant who had questioned the legality of the Gifting Table scheme.
BELLO and PLATT also conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by telling recruits and participants that monies given and received during the scheme were tax-free “gifts” under the IRS Code and that lawyers and accountants had approved Gifting Tables as legal ventures that generated tax-free proceeds.  In addition, BELLO and PLATT filed false tax returns that failed to report income generated from the scheme.

See prosecution sentencing memo at RealScam.com, courtesy of wserra of Quatloos.

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