- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A key player in a Connecticut pyramid scheme authorities say involved millions of dollars and more than 1,000 women has had her federal prison sentence reduced.

A judge Wednesday cut Donna Bello’s sentence to four years from the six years she’d received in 2013 after her conviction on wire fraud, conspiracy and tax charges. The Guilford woman’s conviction was upheld on appeal, but the sentence was overturned.

Prosecutors say women joined “gifting tables” with a $5,000 payment to a table leader, then rose up the table by recruiting new members, eventually ending up with $40,000.

Many women lost money when they couldn’t recruit new members.

Bello ran the scheme from 2008 to 2011.

Another leader, Jill Platt, on Tuesday had her sentence cut from 4 ½ to 2 ½ years.

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