BANGOR — A Canadian man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for a scheme in which he bilked elderly American women out of tens of thousands of dollars by telling them their grandchild or other relative was in trouble and desperately needed money.

Nour-El-Dean Mouneimneh of Quebec apologized in U.S. District Court in Bangor on Monday “to everyone who got harmed by my actions.”

Mouneimneh said he was a low-level participant in the scheme who just collected money in the scheme. He said he had minimal knowledge of how the scheme worked.

The Bangor Daily News reports that a federal judge expressed skepticism at that explanation.

Mouneimneh was also ordered to pay more than $116,000 in restitution.

A co-defendant awaits sentencing.