Zoobia Shahnaz, from Brentwood, New York, recently pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert to providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Between March and August 2017, Shahnaz defrauded numerous financial institutions, according to prosecutors. She applied for and used more than a dozen credit cards, which she used to purchase approximately $62,000 in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online, and obtained a $22,500 loan using materially false pretenses, representations, and promises.
Shahnaz made several wire transactions totaling more than $150,000 to individuals and shell entities that were fronts for ISIS in China, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Shahnaz also accessed ISIS propaganda, social media and messaging pages of known ISIS recruiters, facilitators and financiers.
She attempted to travel to Syria on July 31, 2017, but was intercepted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Shahnaz admitted, as part of her plea agreement with the government, to defrauding numerous financial institutions and laundering the stolen proceeds out of the country with the intent to support a specified unlawful activity. Specifically, the unlawful activity was the material support of ISIS.
Shahnaz could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, restitution, criminal forfeiture and a fine.