An American-Pakistani woman accused of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to finance the terror group ISIS is now facing a sentence of up to twenty years.
It should be noted that although the criminal usage of Bitcoin is oftentimes greatly exaggerated, it nonetheless exists. Just like traditional payment systems can be used for malicious purposes, cryptocurrencies can also be employed.
Zoobia Shahnaz bought crypto using stolen credit cards
A recent example of this is an American-Pakistani woman, who reportedly purchased cryptocurrencies using stolen credit cards. She is then said to have funneled the funds to the nefarious terror organization ISIS.
Now, however, the woman – named Zoobia Shahnaz – has pled guilty to charges of financing a terror organization.
Court filings reveal that Shahnaz had made several wire transactions to different facades for ISIS during 2017. Moreover, she is said to have wired money to ISIS-fronts in a multitude of countries, such as China, Pakistan, and Turkey.
In addition to these monetary contributions to ISIS, Shahnaz was also revealed to have planned to travel to the terror outfit and join them.
Specifically, Shahnaz was reportedly stopped at JFK Airport in New York as she was about to embark on a flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul has made a name for itself as an infamous jumping-off point for ISIS recruits.
Furthermore, the funds transferred were said to have been obtained using dishonest means. Shahnaz was accused of “misrepresenting” herself, as she had applied for a loan of $22,500 which she went on to funnel to ISIS.
Shahnaz ultimately had to resort to wire transfers
She also applied for numerous credit cards, which she were granted. She subsequently used the credit cards to buy a whopping $62,000 worth of Bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies.
According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, “she then engaged in a pattern of financial activity, culminating in several wire transactions of over $150,000 to individuals and shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey that were fronts for ISIS.”
Shahnaz has now been in custody since December of last year, and faces up to two years of imprisonment.
Nevertheless, this particular story sheds some light on the misrepresentation that Bitcoin – and other cryptocurrencies – are commonly used for criminal activities. The most telling detail is that Shahnaz ultimately had to resort to traditional wire transfers in order to send the funds to their recipients.