Guilford residents Donna Bello and Jill Platt, are being tried for their participation in the shoreline Gifting Table, an operation that the government has characterized as an illegal pyramid scheme. Bello and Platt, both of Guilford, allegedly acted as "leaders" of the scheme.
New Haven Register reporter Susan Misur, covering the trial of the two Guilford women, said in her report Thursday that "some witnesses testified to a grand jury that they believe [that Madison resident Barbara Hamburg's] murder was connected to Hamburg’s membership in the tables group."
Barbara Hamburg was found murdered in March 2010 in the yard of a home she was renting on Middle Beach West. Following her murder, her ex-husband's lawyer said the ex-husband was considered "a person of interest" in the investigation, the New Haven Register reported.
On Thursday, Misur said participants in the shoreline Gifting Table, which ran from 2008 to 2011, said
... the homicide in March 2010 may have caused the lack of communication and activity, and prompted people to wonder if the murder was connected to the tables. Witnesses and attorneys are banned from directly mentioning the still-unsolved murder of Barbara Hamburg, who was found dead in her yard in Madison in March 2010, on the grounds it could be prejudicial to the defendants. Pattis, however, was allowed to ask witnesses if a “shocking” or “disturbing” event involving a member had made an impact on the tables and participation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Morabito and a witness said the incident caused some to question their involvement, and Morabito has said some witnesses testified to a grand jury that they believe the murder was connected to Hamburg’s membership in the tables group.
Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm was not immediately available Thursday afternoon to respond to questions about the allegations and what, if any, role they are playing in the investigation of the unsolved murder case.