Feds: NY woman laundered bitcoin to aide Islamic State

Her lawyer says she was sending money to help Syrian refugees.

The Associated Press - CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - A Long Island woman is accused of laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and wiring the money overseas to help the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Zoobia Shahnaz was charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in Central Islip on Thursday.

Prosecutors say the former lab technician fraudulently obtained more than $85,000 through a bank loan and credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online. They say the Brentwood woman then wired more than $150,000 to individuals and shell entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey.

During this time, prosecutors say Shahnaz accessed numerous Islamic State propaganda websites.

Prosecutors say she was questioned at John F. Kennedy International Airport in July while attempting to travel to Syria.

Her lawyer says she was sending money to help Syrian refugees.


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