Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 4:46 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 4:44 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Two Guilford witnesses in a trial alleging a pyramid scheme say a prominent New Haven businessman and one-time Republican office-seeker praised the business and volunteered to talk it up.
The New Haven Register reports that Kathryn Midgley, a participant who allegedly made $20,000 in the scheme, and Ivy Mangan testified in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Tuesday that Joel Schiavone, a New Haven developer, recommended that group members treat the scheme like a business.
Schiavone's wife Donna Bello, Jill Platt and Bettejane Hopkins are accused of filing a false tax return and fraud.
Platt's lawyer says she acted legally and Bello's lawyer denies it was a pyramid scheme. Hopkins has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
Schiavone refused to respond to the accusations during a court recess.
Information from: New Haven Register