A Long Island woman was indicted yesterday in a New York federal court on several money laundering charges with bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to support the terrorist group Islamic State.
The accused Zoobia Shanaz, 27, was arrested Wednesday and will appear in the next few hours before Judge Kathleen Tomlinson to formally read the five charges against her and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison if she is declared guilty.
According to a statement from the US District Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York, the woman allegedly defrauded several financial institutions of more than $ 85,000 that she later converted into bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Subsequently, always according to the statement of charges presented by the prosecutors responsible for the investigation, Shanaz proceeded to launder that money and transfer the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State.
The events occurred between March and July when the defendant obtained a bank loan of $ 22,500 and requested a dozen credit cards with which she purchased $ 62,000 in several cryptocurrencies.
According to the prosecution, the woman then made several transfers totaling $ 150,000 to people and companies based in Pakistan, China and Turkey whose final destination was "to benefit the Islamic State."
Shahnaz, a US national, then tried to leave the country from the John F. Kennedy airport on a flight to Islamabad, with a connection in Istanbul and final destination in Syria, but was retained by the authorities.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by La Estrella