COURT DOC: Former Elkhart, Indiana Resident Sentenced to Over Six Years in Prison for Financing of Terrorism

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December 19, 2018

Samantha Marie Elhassani, aka Samantha Sally, 35, formerly of Elkhart, Indiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to Financing Terrorism.

According to documents in this case, in November 2014, Elhassani was informed by her husband that he and his brother wanted to travel to Syria to join ISIS, which she knew at the time was a terrorist organization that engaged in terrorist activities. Between November 2014 and April 1015, Elhassani helped the two men join ISIS by making multiple trips to Hong Kong and transporting more than $30,000 in cash and gold from the United States and depositing it in a safe deposit box in Hong Kong. Elhassani melted down the gold to look like jewelry and did not disclose the cash and gold on customs declaration forms. At the time Elhassani transported the money and gold, she knew that her husband and brother-in-law had expressed an interest in joining ISIS and that they intended to use these resources to support ISIS.

During her last trip to Hong Kong, in late March 2015, Elhassani procured tactical gear, including rifle scopes and image-stabilized binoculars. From there, Elhassani and her family, including her seven year old son and two year old daughter, departed for Istanbul, Turkey, and entered ISIS-controlled territory in Syria sometime in or around June 2015. In the months leading up to the move to Syria, Elhassani helped conceal the plans by lying to family, friends and federal agents about her travel. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)

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