A New York city woman has been accused of money laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and the wiring of the money to help the so-called Islamic State.
Zoobia Shahnaz, 27 years old, has been charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering and is being held without bail.
Ms. Shahnaz was born in Pakistan and has worked as a laboratory technician in the united states.
Prosecutors say she took fraudulent loans of $85,000(Â£63,000) to buy bitcoin online.
Bitcoin is an online currency. In spite of not being legal – it can’t be used to pay the traditional goods and services, the value of the bitcoin has exploded this year.
What is Bitcoin?
It has been exploited by criminals to launder money. The british authorities are pushing to increase the regulation of the currency.
According to court records, Ms. Shahnaz, who lives in the streets of Brentwood on Long Island, is a lab technician at a hospital in Manhattan until the month of June.
Prosecutors have said that Ms. Shahnaz obtained a Pakistani passport in July and booked a flight to Pakistan with a stopover in Istanbul, with the intention to travel to Syria.
She was arrested at John F Kennedy airport carrying $9,500 in cash, just under the $10,000 limit that a person can legally take out of the country without declaring the funds.
The searches of his electronic devices have shown many searches for Islamic State-related material.
Ms. Shahnaz faces up to 20 years in prison for each money laundering charges and up to 30 years for bank fraud charges.
His lawyer, Steve Zissou, said she was sending money abroad to help the Syrian refugees.
“What she has seen has made her devoted to the reduction of the suffering of a large number of Syrian refugees, and everything she does is for that purpose,” Mr. Zissou said outside the courthouse.