Federal prosecutors have charged a Long Island resident in connection with a scheme that allegedly resulted in sending tens of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrencies to Islamic State terrorists.
The Department of Justice unsealed a five-count indictment Thursday charging Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, with bank fraud and multiple counts of money laundering related allegedly attempting to fund the Islamic State, a designated foreign terrorist organization also known as ISIS and ISIL.
Ms. Shahnaz allegedly scammed various financial institutions out of roughly $85,000, then purchased approximately $62,000 worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies subsequently transferred to shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey, prosecutors alleged.
“These transactions were designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements, conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies and, ultimately, benefit ISIS,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
Ms. Shahnaz was arrested at her Brentwood home Wednesday and was ordered during her arraignment Thursday to remain in custody pending a January court appearance, The Telegraph reported.
She faces a maximum sentence of 90 years behind bars if convicted on each of the five counts.