NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A leader in an India-based scam that scared American taxpayers into sending millions of dollars because they thought the U.S. government was after them was sentenced Wednesday to more than 14 years in prison.
Sahil Patel, 36, of Tatamy, Pennsylvania, who blamed a cocaine addiction for his downfall, sobbed as he apologized for his crimes at his sentencing for wire fraud conspiracy and other charges Wednesday in Manhattan.
Patel told the judge he knows he did wrong saying, “Would I do it again? No. Have I learned my lesson? Yes,” WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he needed to impose a “very serious sentence” to ensure adequate deterrence. Patel also must forfeit $1 million for crimes that stretched from December 2011 until his December 2013 arrest.