None of the money stolen from the victims has been returned to the U.S., said prosecutors. In asking Hudson to impose a maximum term of 22 years, Brian R. Hood, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote: “For all practical purposes, [Pathan] was the fraudulent call center operation. Such thorough control and involvement in what was indisputably a far-reaching crime demands harsh punishment.”

At least nine others involved in the scam have been charged in federal court in Richmond. All of the defendants are Indian nationals.

The recorded robocalls told victims that they had a serious legal or criminal problem and that if they did not immediately comply with the demands, there would be drastic consequences.

When the victims responded as directed by the robocall, they would be transferred to a “closer” who used different scripts to scam them, including impersonating officials from the FBI, DEA, Social Security Administration and IRS. The closers convinced the victims to wire money and send parcels containing bulk cash to addresses and recipients involved in the conspiracy.

Many victims were threatened with severe consequences such as arrest or losing government benefits unless they cooperated. Most of the victims were older.

Pathan recruited and supervised the money couriers, “mules,” who received the money from the victims. The couriers were located in states including Virginia, New Jersey, Minnesota, Texas, California, South Carolina and Illinois. Pathan assigned various…

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