HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Closing arguments are expected in the trial of two Guilford women charged with running a gifting table pyramid scheme.

The arguments are planned Tuesday in federal court in Hartford. Donna Bello and Jill Platt have pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
Prosecutors said the women operated the scheme from 2008 to 2011.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved women joining the clubs by giving $5,0 “gifts” to high-ranking 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 has said everything she did was legal and based upon the advice of lawyers. Bello’s attorney denied it was a pyramid scheme.

A third woman charged in the case pleaded guilty to a tax charge.


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