A United States federal court docket has sentenced a U.S. citizen to 13 years in jail for laundering cash for ISIS utilizing Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies.
Per a Division of Justice announcement on March 13, Zoobia Shahnaz of Lengthy Island acquired a 13-year sentence for working to fund the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham by way of cryptocurrency funds amounting to over $150,000. She additionally labored to maneuver to Syria to turn into a member of ISIS.
Fraudulent loans for financing
To boost the funds, Shahnaz allegedly defrauded main banks together with American Categorical, Chase and Uncover, in keeping with the unique indictment from December 2017.
The USA alleged that Shahnaz secured loans and bank cards underneath false pretenses, which she used to purchase cryptocurrencies that she funneled by way of Pakistan, China and Turkey and finally to ISIS.
As Cointelegraph reported, Shahnaz was on her strategy to Syria in July of 2017 when officers prevented her from boarding a flight at JFK Airport in New York Metropolis. She was subsequently arrested later within the yr.
Motives: Medical support for Syrian refugees
Shahnaz pleaded responsible to the costs again in November 2018. In requesting a below-guidelines sentence in a sentencing memorandum earlier in March, Shahnaz’s authorized counsel leaned on her age — she was born in 1990 — in addition to her work volunteering with Syrian refugees through the Syrian American Medical Society.
The sentencing memorandum continued to spotlight Shahnaz’s historical past of charitable work:
“Not like the79 People recognized within the research who traveled to Syria and/or Iraq since 2011 and affiliated with jihadist teams energetic in these international locations, none had been motivated by the identical issues that drove Zoobia Shahnaz. That’s, a want to heal the sick and look after the wounded.”
On condition that the 5 counts towards her might have garnered her 110 years behind bars somewhat than 13, the protection’s technique might have labored.