US requests at least 14-year sentence for leader of scam that conned taxpayers out of millions

The government says the leader of a group that duped American taxpayers into sending it millions of dollars should spend at least 14 years in prison.

Sahil Patel faces sentencing Wednesday in Manhattan for wire fraud conspiracy and other charges.

Federal prosecutors say a long prison sentence is warranted because of crimes Patel committed from December 2011 until his arrest in December 2013.

The prosecutors say people at call centers in India impersonated U.S. law enforcers and threatened victims with financial penalties and arrest if they didn't send payments.

They say Patel exploited "desperate" co-conspirators — especially women.

In a letter to the sentencing judge, Patel said he made "bad decisions" and begged for mercy.