A Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for sending money to three ISIS supporters in New York, after pleading guilty to tax evasion.
Sardor Khodjaev, 30, from Pensacola, transferred more than $16,000 to the ISIS supporters in 2014 and 2015 to help fund their flight to travel to Syria and join ISIS, the Pensacola News Journal reported on Friday.
Sardor S. Khodjaev, 30, transferred more than $16,000 to three known ISIS supporters in New York between 2014 and 2015, as the men were raising money to fund their trip to Syria to fight for the terrorist organization. https://t.co/CKONobSML5
— PNJ (@pnj) May 19, 2018
Khodjaev entered in a plea agreement and admitted that he and the three men would gather various electronic devices and send them to families and friends in Uzbekistan, who would then sell them to make money.
Khodjaev’s lawyer said that his client did this so he could sidestep the rigid Uzbekistan laws that make it nearly impossible to transfer money to the country.
The government saw this as a tax evasion scheme.
Judge Casey Rodgers, who tried the case, deliberated for an hour on Friday before passing a sentence.
Rodgers determined there was not enough evidence to conclude that Khodjaev knew the money was going to ISIS, and it hindered her from charging him with a conspiracy of terrorism.
She sentenced him to 18 months in prison to be followed by a year of supervised probation.
Rodgers asked Khodjaev to take the witness stand and clarify a few things, but he opted not to.
Khodjaev did approach the court and admit to making a mistake that involved tax evasion, but said that he believed the business venture between him and the three men was legitimate.