NY woman charged with sending $85000 in Bitcoin to support Isil
17 December, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Samuel Sharp
USA prosecutors said on Thursday that they had charged a Long Island, New York, woman with laundering more than $85,000 in fraudulently obtained money through Bitcoin to help the Islamic State (IS) group.
The Department of Justice said on Thursday that the 27-year-old woman, Zoobia Shahnaz, is being charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering, ABC News reported.
Shahnaz was arrested on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport, following a line of questioning by law enforcement officials who stopped her as she tried to leave the United States for Islamabad, Pakistan. The woman also "accessed ISIS propaganda, violent jihad-related websites and message boards, and social media and messaging pages of known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers", according to the DOJ statement. She used the loan and new lines of credit to purchase almost 62,000 dollars in bitcoin before then laundering the money and wiring it to several global destinations.
Shahnaz bought cryptocurrency with the credit cards, converting it to USA dollars and then transferring it into a bank account in her name, court filings said.
It is claimed that Shahnaz, using loans and credit cards obtained with fake information, defrauded a number of financial institutions - including American Express Bank, Chase Bank, Discover Bank and TD Bank.
A US woman from NY has been accused of using bitcoin and other crypto currencies which she bought with fraudulent bank loans to fund the so-called Islamic State.
They said she then laundered the money through illicit transactions involving shell companies in Pakistan, China and Turkey with the ultimate goal of using the money to benefit ISIS.
Having never told her family she had quit her job in June, she attempted to board a flight at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport for Pakistan on July 31, with a layover in Turkey.
The digital currency has been used by criminals to launder money.
However, the woman's lawyer, Steve Zissou, said that she was donating the money to help Syrian refugees. As she was arriving for her flight at JFK Airport, agents intercepted her at the gate and questioned her. Prosecutors want her held without bail pending trial. She was let go after the questioning and subsequently arrested Wednesday. Authorities have searched her internet history, finding Google searches for "top female jihadis", "how much money can I send through Western Union", and "hijrah (holy migration)".
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