A Long Island, N.Y., woman was accused on Thursday of using the global cryptocurrency bitcoin to launder money to ISIS, according to the Justice Department.
Zoobia Shahnaz was charged in a federal court in Central Islip with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering.
"The defendant defrauded numerous financial institutions and obtained over $85,000 in illicit proceeds, which she converted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies," the Justice Department said in a statement.
"She then laundered and transferred the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham ("ISIS") ... After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria. Shahnaz, a U.S citizen, was arrested yesterday," the statement continued.
Shahnaz's lawyer pushed back on the charges, saying that she was only looking to help Syrian refugees she had met while volunteering in Jordan at the Syrian American Medical Society.
"Whatever she did was for humanitarian purposes only," Steve Zissou told Newsday.
Shahnaz is expected to appear in court on Jan. 5, according to ABC News.