NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A federal judge has rejected a request from prosecutors to revoke the bond of one of three Connecticut women charged with running a “gifting table” pyramid scheme.

Prosecutors said last week that 55-year-old Donna Bello, of Guilford, violated her bond conditions by having repeated contacts with a government witness.

Bello’s attorney, John Walkley, denied his client would have done anything contrary to the bond conditions.

Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez refused the government’s motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Hartford.
Bello and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty.

To join a gifting table, participants must pay a $5,000 gift to the person occupying the “dessert” position at the top of the pyramid. Participants move through the pyramid from the bottom row, called “appetizers,” to the top by recruiting additional people to join.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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