New York Woman Charged with Using Bitcoin to Launder Money to ISIS
A woman from Long Island, N.Y., allegedly stole and transferred more than $85,000 to support the Islamic State utilizing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to attempt to avoid detection. Zoobia Shahnaz has been charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering. She was detained in July at John F. Kennedy airport as she was leaving for Pakistan and has plead not guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y. According to court filings, Shahnaz used more than a dozen credit cards – six of which were fraudulently obtained – to buy over $60,000 in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. She then allegedly converted the crypto to USD and began transferring the money abroad to support ISIS. She allegedly wired over $150,000 to individuals and apparent shell entities in Pakistan, China, and Turkey and took measures to conceal the “identity, source, and destination of the illicitly obtained monies” with the goal of benefiting ISIS.
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