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NYC Woman Sentenced to 18 Years for Bitcoin Terrorism Financing

A New York woman, Victoria Jacobs, also known as Bakhrom Talipov, has been handed an 18-year prison sentence by a New York State court jury for laundering $12,000 in Bitcoin to fund a terrorist group in Syria.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Jacobs’ sentencing, highlighting her deep involvement in online terrorist networks and her role in facilitating the movement of funds to Syrian terrorist organizations.

“From the safety of her Manhattan apartment, she enabled these groups to access our city’s financial markets in order to help further their mission,” remarked District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Jacobs was found guilty on three felony counts related to providing support for terrorism, as well as charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and criminal possession of a weapon. Prosecutors detailed her actions, including sending over $6,000 to a terrorist group known as “Malhama Tactical” and laundering $12,000 by collecting funds from supporters worldwide through cryptocurrency and wire transfers.

According to prosecutors, Jacobs transferred the funds to Bitcoin wallets controlled by Malhama Tactical. Additionally, she provided a U.S. Army Improvised Munitions Handbook to an online group associated with the terrorist organization to aid in bomb-making activities in Syria. Jacobs also purchased Google Play gift cards for the organization.

In online forums, Jacobs identified herself as a “brother” operating “behind enemy lines,” seeking prayers for the success of certain missions.

Jacobs’ sentencing underscores the severity with which authorities treat terrorism financing and the role of cryptocurrency in facilitating illicit activities. It serves as a stark reminder of the legal consequences for those involved in such activities, even if carried out remotely from seemingly safe locations.

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