A woman who bought Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies by using dishonestly gained credit cards before wiring the funds to the terror group, ISIS has pled guilty to the crimes of offering financial support to a terrorist organisation, like reported by cryptodaily.co.uk.
The Pakistani-American woman in question, Zoobia Shahnaz has allegedly made a couple of wire transaction last year to the front for the Islamic terror group ISIS in China, Turkey and Pakistan. Aside from providing the terror outfit with financial support, Shahnaz was also intending to travel and join the group in Syria. She was intercepted at the JFK Airport in New York on her way to Istanbul in Turkey which is a usual starting point for new recruits of ISIS from the western world.
Some of the amounts that were wired to the terror group were obtained fraudulent means. According to the case files between March and July 2017, Shahnaz used materially false pretences, representations and promises in order to gain $22,500 loan from a financial institution.
20 years behind bars
After obtained numerous credit cards from various financial institutions including American Express, Discover, TD Bank and Chase by fraudulent means she then used the cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies worth over $60,000 from exchanges before converting them to cash.
The US Department of Justice said in a recent press release:
“She also fraudulently applied for and used over a dozen credit cards, which she used to purchase approximately $62,000 in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online. She then engaged in a pattern of financial activity, culminating in several wire transactions totalling over $150,000 to individuals and shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey that were fronts for ISIS.”
After being in custody for just under 12 months now, Shahnaz could be looking at two decades in prison.
This whole affair has brought up old fears regarding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as the age-old debate that they can be used to fund terrorism. Despite using Bitcoin to launder the money, Shahnaz had to resort to a wire transfer in her attempts to get the money to the terror outfit.
As reported by CCN:
“Part of the reason why bitcoin has not proved useful to terrorists is that they are usually located in places that lack the infrastructure necessary to conduct cryptocurrency transactions.”