Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, of Brentwood, New York, pleaded guilty on Monday committing bank fraud and laundering over $85,000 in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. for the FBI’s New York Field Office, and Commissioner James P. O’Neill for the NYPD announced the guilty plea.
The guilty plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert.
According to court filings and facts presented at the plea hearing, between March 2017 and the date of her attempted travel to Syria on July 31, 2017, the defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud numerous financial institutions.
Specifically, Shahnaz obtained a loan for approximately $22,500 by way of materially false pretenses, representations and promises.
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, designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements, conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies, and, ultimately, benefit ISIS – by culminating in several wire transactions totaling over $150,000 to individuals and shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey that were fronts for ISIS.
(Zoobia Shahnaz, was arrested in Dec 2017 for attempting to send $62,000 to ISIS through bitcoin. She is now facing up to 90 years in prison. According to business insider, “Shahnaz took out more than a dozen credit cards earlier this year and used the money she borrowed to buy cryptocurrency and sent it abroad…” Courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube. Posted in Dec 2017.)