American accused of financing terrorism using bitcoins

American accused of financing terrorism using bitcoins

This is the first high-profile case in the cryptocurrency sphere associated with terrorism.

A woman in new York was indicted on five counts in relation to its use of bitcoins as part of a scheme of transference of funds to the internationally recognized terrorist group Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In the next few days critics will undoubtedly draw connections between bitcoin and terrorism.

Shame the first case

According to a press release of the Federal U.S. attorney’s office Eastern district of new York 14 Dec, 27-year-old resident of long island Zoobie Shahnaz was indicted on five counts in relation to her involvement in the scheme of financing of ISIS.

Shahnaz filed the following charges:

1) three articles on money laundering

2) an article by prior conspiracy to commit money laundering

3) one article on banking fraud.

It is assumed that Shahnaz has translated thousands of stolen dollars into bitcoin and others are not yet certain cryptocurrency to conceal the origin of funds. Subsequently, the woman took laundered the money and transferred them associated with the ISIS “dummy companies in Pakistan, China and Turkey.”

Cryptocurrencies were only a small part of her scheme of work; it is a violation of the law includes money transfers Fiat currency of fictitious companies, known as sponsors of terrorism.

According to Bridget M. Rohde, I. O. of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern district of new York:

“It is alleged that the defendant Tobia Shahnaz was involved in a scheme of Bank fraud, bought bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies and laundered money outside the country with the aim of transferring thousands of dollars to terrorists.””The charge reflects the intention of the Prosecutor together with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to support terrorists, including the perpetrators of financial crimes for this purpose”.

The assistant Director of the FBI William F. Sweeney also raised the issue of the use of cryptocurrency in exposing the trick Shahnaz:

“It is assumed that the object of the investigation was so determined to help ISIS that is planning a secret illegal entry to Syria. In addition to this, she tried to launder virtual currency to enhance financial support for terrorists. Joint anti-terrorism center, the FBI in new York prevented the realization of a threat and potentially fatal goal, that woman. We will do our best to stop anyone who would try to do something like that.”

Details of the scheme Shahnaz

The way Shahnaz’s nefarious deeds began when she submitted fake documents to assign $ 22,500 fraudulently.

For the money, and using more than 10 credit cards she bought bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in the amount of $ 62,000.

Its purpose consisted in concealing Bank fraud. Shahnaz wanted to get the money that was not marked as stolen. In the end, Shahnaz managed to save enough Fiat currency to send $ 150,000 of foreign fictitious companies linked to ISIS.

Interestingly, the woman turned to the cryptocurrency ecosystem for the solution to your criminal dilemma, but did not use more sensitive features of space, such as services mixing cryptocurrency. Instead, she returned to Vietnam money. Old habits are hard to break.

Why is it important

This is the first high-profile case in the cryptocurrency sphere associated with terrorism. The charges are directly linked to bitcoin and other digital currencies.

This is definitely an unnecessary PR, at a time when users of bitcoin and so worried about potential regulatory decisions, for example, in South Korea and the United States. This case will add arguments to the absurd stereotypes of some critics regarding the fact that cryptocurrencies basically designed to commit crimes.

But, as pointed out recently by a local expert on bitcoin Andreas Antonopoulos, critics used the same charges during the birth of the Internet in the 1990s.

In fairness it should be noted that criminals use the same innovative technology as all the rest. But some politicians and regulators certainly use the case of Shahnaz as a reason to, as they say, “throw the baby out with the bath together with water”, that is to throw away useful along with unnecessary.

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