Crypto money-laundering bust alert [siren]

A woman has been indicted on charges she tried to funnel money to ISIS using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Department of Justice has unsealed a grand-jury indictment against Zoobia Shahnaz, a 27-year-old from Long Island. Prosecutors claim she fraudulently obtained money from four banks to purchase crypto and then attempted to send that money to ISIS.

From the press release:

As alleged in the indictment and court filings, the defendant defrauded numerous financial institutions and obtained over $85,000 in illicit proceeds, which she converted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. She then laundered and transferred the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”), which has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization. After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria…

Specifically, Shahnaz obtained a loan for approximately $22,500 by way of materially false representations. She also fraudulently applied for 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, totaling over $150,000, to individuals and apparent shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey. These transactions were designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements, conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly obtained monies, and, ultimately, benefit ISIS.

If convicted, Shahnaz faces a maximum of 30 years for the bank fraud charge and 20 years on each count money laundering count.

Related links:
What is crypto’s agenda really? — FT Alphaville
Next stop, decentralised criminal marketplaces..? — FT Alphaville
Crypto bust alert [siren] — FT Alphaville
Just read Izzy’s posts if you haven’t already

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