Products listed at astronomically high prices on eBay appear to be real transactions when sold but are in fact methods to launder and secretly send cash. This simple, popular ruse has been used by Islamic State to funnel cash to operatives in the Middle East.
U.S. investigators uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funnelled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. through fake eBay transactions, according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit.
The alleged recipient of the funds was an American citizen in his early 30s who had been arrested more than a year ago in Maryland after a lengthy Federal Bureau of Investigation surveillance operation that found the first clues to the suspected network.
The government had alleged in a 2016 indictment that the American suspect, Mohamed Elshinawy, pledged allegiance to Islamic State and had pretended to sell computer printers on eBay as a cover to receive payments through PayPal, potentially to fund terror attacks.