Why criminals can't hide behind Bitcoin

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Department of Justice said Thursday. Zoobia Shahnaz, who lives in Brentwood on Long Island, was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering. After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria.

S citizen, was arrested yesterday. According to court records, Shahnaz worked as a lab technician at a Manhattan hospital until June of this year Around January ofthe government says she volunteered in Jordan with the Syrian American Medical Society.

Part of her volunteer work took her to a refugee camp where prosecutors said "ISIS exercises significant launder money using bitcoin to transfer. He said she wanted to help Syrian refugees she met while volunteering. She was questioned by law enforcement officials at the airport, since her itinerary was suspect. Prosecutors said they believe she was trying to leave the U.

But investigators believe Shahnaz had no plans to return to the U. She had allegedly done Internet searches for "one-way tickets to Istanbul" but purchased a roundtrip ticket. Prosecutors point out that ISIS recommends those wishing to travel to join ISIS launder money using bitcoin to transfer buy roundtrip tickets because they might be deemed less suspicious by law enforcement agents.

Agents said she gave false and conflicting explanations about her overseas wire transfers. She was arrested Wednesday.

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The Justice Department has charged Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, with bank fraud and money laundering. She allegedly converted money from credit cards into cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and transferred it abroad in support of ISIS. Authorities say a woman on Long Island, N. Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, is charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

She pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U. District Court in Central Islip, N. Shahnaz is a U. She lives in the town of Brentwood, N. The government says Shahnaz was detained on July 31 at John F. Shahnaz was a volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society assisting other health care providers in delivering lifesaving medical care to Syrian refugees," her attorney, Steve Zissou, tells NPR. Her humanitarian efforts then and since were motivated by her commitment to helping alleviate the plight of the people in the Middle East.

The government says Shahnaz converted the cryptocurrencies back to U. The Justice Department says Shahnaz then began transferring money abroad to support ISIS, while taking measures to disguise the nature and purpose of the funds and avoid transaction reporting requirements.

Attorney's Office writes in its request for a detention order. If convicted of bank fraud, Shahnaz faces up to 30 years in prison. The other charges each carry possible penalties of up to 20 years. Court filings suggest that part of the government's case will focus on the defendant's Internet search history. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email.

December 15,