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3rd woman gets probation in Conn. pyramid scheme

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A third Connecticut woman has been sentenced in connection with a pyramid scheme authorities say involved millions of dollars and more than 1,000 other women.

Sixty-eight-year-old Bettejane Hopkins of Essex was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford to three years' probation. She also was ordered her to perform 300 hours of community service.

Hopkins pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutors said she didn't report $89,500 she received in the "gifting tables" scheme.

Two Guilford women got prison sentences Tuesday after being convicted in February of wire fraud, conspiracy and tax crimes. Jill Platt was sentenced to 4 1/2 years. Donna Bello was sentenced to six years. Both plan to appeal. Authorities say Bello was the leader of the scheme and Platt was like a manager.