UES Woman Accused Of Funding Terror With Cryptocurrency: DA – Upper East Side, NY Patch

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — An Upper East Side woman stands accused of using cryptocurrency to launder funds for Syrian-based terror groups, according to the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Victoria Jacobs, 43, who was also known as Bakhrom Talipov, is accused of using cryptocurrency to send over $15,000 — and a U.S. Army munitions handbook — to various groups deemed terrorist organizations by the U.S. government, according to officials.
This case “marks the first time that terrorism financing is being prosecuted in New York State Court,” Bragg said in a Tuesday night announcement.
“[It] is one of the rare cases worldwide where cryptocurrency is alleged to have financed terrorism.”
The Upper East Side woman’s efforts also saw her buying weapons — combat knives, metal knuckles and throwing stars — as well as writing online that she was a “brother” “behind enemy lines,” who needed “courage, strength, guidance, and wisdom to carry out certain missions,” prosecutors contend.
According to the indictment, Jacobs used cryptocurrency to both receive money from supporters and send funds to terror groups in Syria, like Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.
Jacobs transferred funds using Bitcoin wallets controlled by Mahalma Tactical, a group that fought alongside and provided tactical training for Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Jacobs sent at least $5,000 of her own money and $10,661 from supporters to the terrorist’s crypto wallets, prosecutors contend.
A 26-year-old U.S. Marine reservist, Jason Fong, is currently on trial in Los Angeles for similarly fundraising on behalf of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.
Jacobs also sent a comprehensive U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook to an online group she believed was an affiliate of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and an al-Qaeda associated organization called Hurras al-Din, according to the announcement.
Jacobs’ charges include providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree, money laundering, conspiracy as a crime of terrorism and criminal possession of a weapon.
The year-and-a-half long investigation was a joint venture between the NYPD Intelligence Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Counter Terrorism Program.

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