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Thread: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

  1. #1
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    2 women found guilty in 'gifting table' scheme

    HARTFORD, Conn. Two Guilford women have been found guilty of running a gifting table pyramid scheme.

    Prosecutors said Donna Bello and Jill Platt operated the scam from 2008 to 2011, recruiting new members to pay thousands of dollars to people who ranked higher in the group.

    The New Haven Register reports Bello and Platt were convicted Wednesday of charges including wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

    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.

    You can read the full report at The New Haven Register.com
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

  2. #2
    wserra is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    After a couple of adjournments, Bello and Platt are now scheduled for sentence this Tuesday, August 13, 2013. According to the govt, the guideline is 11-14 years. While the Guidelines don't bind the Court, and the Court may sustain defense objections to certain guideline calculations in any event, it is clear they are both facing a very substantial sentence. The case carries a couple of lessons.

    First of all, of course, cash gifting is not the innocuous activity that its pimps portray it to be. It's a federal (and state) felony. If you read the ponzi pimp boards - TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup come to mind - cash gifting is just a harmless amusement, indulged in by people who fully understand it. Bello and especially Platt (who's older) may die in jail because of it. Tell them it was just harmless amusement. Yes, they made it worse by telling their "members" to file false tax returns - and, of course, doing it themselves - but a jury decided that their "Gifting Table" activities alone constituted mail and wire fraud.

    Second, the "Gifting Table" manual contains all of the usual pimp reasons why it's OK to commit fraud. To wit:

    • It's only a group of like-minded people supporting each other (p 3).
    • It's legal because anyone can gift anyone else up to $12K/year with no tax consequences (p 4).
    • Happy NewAge horseshit:
      Giving, supporting and nurturing are qualities expressed through the Divine Feminine and are part of our true nature . . . there is a powerful invisible force for good operating in the Universe. The Women's Gifting Table is a lifeline to that force.
      P 5.
    • An entire section on the tax treatment of gifts, including a comparison of the Women's Gifting Table to "churches, charities and ... the Red Cross". P 7. Short, obvious answer: you're not a charity, and what your members give is not what the law considers a gift.
    • A claim that they have been reviewed "MANY times by MANY lawyers and accountants", all of whom said they were fine. P 8. Nonsense, of course.

    And more.

    So, if anyone you care about starts with the cash gifting line, show him/her the govt's sentencing memo, and ask if the description of the Women's Gifting Table it contains sounds anything like what s/he is considering joining. Show the manual linked to above, and asked if it looks familiar. Finally, bring out the Women's Gifting Table verdict sheet, with its unbroken string of "Guilty" to federal felonies. If this doesn't work - well, you've done what you can.

    I'll followup with the sentences unless someone else beats me to it.
    "A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
    - David Hume

  3. #3
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    The next time a cash gifter approaches you and tells you "cash gifting is legal in the United States and approved by the IRS"



    Remind them of what the law REALLY thinks of cash gifting and cash gifters:

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

  4. #4
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    Two women guilty in Shoreline gifting tables case





    HARTFORD — Many who turned down invitations to join the Women’s Gifting Table said the group seemed too good to be true, that something had to be wrong with it.

    According to a federal jury, they were right.

    A 17-day roller-coaster-ride of a trial — complete with nap-inducing testimony of various tax forms and a peculiar anecdote of a severed rabbit’s head — ended Wednesday with a guilty verdict for two leaders of the Women’s Gifting Table.

    Defendants Donna Bello and Jill Platt, both of Guilford, were found guilty in U.S. District Court of all charges after 12 jurors deliberated for about two hours. Sentencing is scheduled for May, and both women remain free.
    The case drew statewide attention with elements worthy of a Hollywood plot: transactions involving millions of dollars, an unsolved murder of a table member, a mysterious severed animal’s head seen as a threat, a lying witness, a secret recording and the destruction of lifelong friendships. Then there’s the possibility the trial has threatened the judgeship nomination for witness Shelley Marcus, who gave advice to women involved.

    Bello and Platt were found guilty of one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit to defraud the IRS, while operating tables from 2008 to 2011. Bello, 56, also was convicted of 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return. Platt, 65, was convicted of four wire fraud counts and one count of filing a false tax return.

    The government had labeled the tables an illegal pyramid scheme that worked to hide income from the IRS — for example, by storing cash in freezers instead of banks — and defraud both the IRS and participants.

    Norm Pattis, who represented Bello, Jonathan J. Einhorn, who is Platt’s attorney, and Platt all said after court adjourned that they were “disappointed” with the verdict. Einhorn said his client would appeal the decision, while Pattis said he would “evaluate all options.”

    Platt said she felt the jurors looked at her and Bello in the same light.

    “I would have hoped they (jurors) would have given a little more time to discuss the charges. I’m very different from Donna. My circumstances are very different. … I think everything was decided before they went in,” Platt said outside the courtroom.

    She added the woman who invited her on the table claimed to have met with an attorney, who said tables were legal, and seeing lawyers join the tables gave her confidence in their legality.

    The charges carry maximum prison terms that range from three to 20 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but Einhorn said it’s too early to speculate on a sentence. Judge Alvin W. Thompson, who presided over the case, said probation officers will compile a report to aid in a sentence decision.

    Essex resident Bettejane Hopkins, a third woman arrested in May after a grand jury indictment, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS in December and faces up to five years in prison, though part of her plea deal recommends between 30 to 37 months.

    Women joined the gifting tables by paying what they were told was a tax-free “gift” of $5,000 to a high-ranking member and recruited other women. As more people joined, members climbed the table’s four levels before reaching the highest status and receiving $5,000 from eight women. Once they received $40,000 each, they left the table or rejoined.

    Hopkins made at least $89,500 on the tables, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, while Platt said during an August 2010 deposition for then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s civil investigation that she made about $90,000.

    It’s unclear how much Bello made, as witnesses said they heard she went through six, eight, 10 or more times.

    Defense lawyers, prosecutors and witnesses created an image of Bello as the leader of the enterprise. She’s said to have spread it across the Shoreline upon receiving group guidelines from a friend and monitored table operations, whether she was a member of particular tables or not.

    Bello wrote in emails that when she joined tables, Platt and Hopkins were always the two people she brought on as recruits.

    “BJ, Jill and I have been a triangle for a year through several tables. We work well together. I don’t want to change this,” Bello wrote in an email entered into evidence.

    Platt was portrayed as another “senior sister,” but also as someone who helped introduce people to tables over lunch or coffee before they attended an official party or meeting. However, Einhorn said she was just like all the other witnesses: simply a participant.

    Pattis often called into question why Bello and Platt were singled out for prosecution, since two witnesses allege tables are still operating on the Shoreline and many made significant amounts of money without reporting it.

    U.S. Attorney David B. Fein said the verdict should serve as a warning to anyone continuing to participate in the tables and that the investigation is ongoing.

    “As the jury’s swift verdict of guilty on all counts makes clear, ‘Gifting Tables’ are pyramid schemes and illegal, plain and simple,” Fein said.
    Read the original article on New Haven Register.com
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

  5. #5
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    Anyone who STILL believes cash gifting is legal and harmless REALLY needs to read the US Governments' Memorandum in aid of sentencing for the above mentioned case





    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme





    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme





    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme




    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    wserra is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    According to the Hartford Courant, Bello got 6 years, Platt 4.5. No parole on federal sentences, just 53 days/yr of good time. So, assuming they don't lose good time, Bello will serve about 5 years, Platt about 3.75. Both will surrender to begin the sentences on October 15.

    Especially for people of their age (Bello is 57, Platt 65), not a slap on the wrist.
    "A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
    - David Hume

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    path2prosperity is offline Elite Scambuster
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    There is a very good chapter in Eagle's book about the lengths to which the cash gifters go to teach each other how to post wads of cash to avoid postal scanners. If anybody reads those instructions and can not see that he or she is trying to avoid the law givers, that person must be plain stupid.

    Perhaps Eagle would publish the information in this thread or allow me to scan and copy the page in the book.

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    ProfHenryHiggins is offline Elite Scambuster
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    The arguments being used by the lawyers of http://www.friendsofdonnaandjill.com leave me wondering how on Earth these men and women ever managed to graduate from law school.

    It's not that they are bad arguments, but they seem to be completely blind to the 800-tonne whale in the room, namely, legal precedents set by past convictions of frankly identical gifting schemes.
    If you are in Prosper With Integrity, and do not like that your personal information has been published here, please talk to these good people: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov http://www.ic3.gov http://www.fbi.gov

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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    It is amazing the things that get filed. They are using what I call the dartboard technique. Throw anything and everything at the wall and hope something sticks.

  14. #14
    wserra is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 2 women found guilty in cash gifting scheme

    And yet another simple participant in the gifting scam has pleaded guilty to a federal felony and been sentenced. One Nancy Dillon of Branford, CT, pleaded to failing to pay taxes on the $40K she won - more accurately, stole from later participants - and was sentenced to 6 months of home confinement, 3 years probation, $2K fine and 100 hours of community service. See the story here.

    So much for all the scammers who tell you that the IRS has no problem with cash gifters.
    "A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
    - David Hume

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