A United States federal courtroom 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 obtained a 13-year sentence for working to fund the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham by means of cryptocurrency funds amounting to over $150,000. She additionally labored to maneuver to Syria to change into a member of ISIS.
Fraudulent loans for financing
To lift the funds, Shahnaz allegedly defrauded main banks together with American Specific, Chase and Uncover, in response to the unique indictment from December 2017.
The US alleged that Shahnaz secured loans and bank cards underneath false pretenses, which she used to purchase cryptocurrencies that she funneled by means of Pakistan, China and Turkey and finally to ISIS.
As Cointelegraph reported, Shahnaz was on her solution 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 by way of the Syrian American Medical Society.
The sentencing memorandum continued to focus on Shahnaz’s historical past of charitable work:
“In contrast to the79 People recognized within the examine who traveled to Syria and/or Iraq since 2011 and affiliated with jihadist teams lively in these international locations, none had been motivated by the identical issues that drove Zoobia Shahnaz. That’s, a need to heal the sick and take care of the wounded.”
On condition that the 5 counts towards her may have garnered her 110 years behind bars fairly than 13, the protection’s technique might have labored.