A man was arrested this week for allegedly posing as a fake Homeland Security agent in a years-long ruse to mislead at least four members of the Secret Service — one of whom First Lady Jill Biden’s security details — went bankrupt for passing inspections poorly, allegedly created a fake company to win a contract with the city, and hardened a friend relatives and business partners before skipping town, according to state court records and interviews with two former associates.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, was arrested by the union at an apartment complex in Washington, DC on Wednesday. He is accused of impersonating an officer or employee of the United States. Along with alleged co-conspirator Haider Ali, the two “for many years… identified themselves as federal law enforcement officers engaged in clandestine operations on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ” record a memorandum of detention filed Friday in the Washington, DC federal court. “They are not law enforcement officers, and they do not engage in sanctioned covert operations. Neither Respondent is employed by the United States government. But their impersonation scheme was realistic enough to convince other government employees, including law enforcement officers, of their fake identities. “
In an interview with investigators following his arrest, prosecutors said that Taherzadeh had admitted posing as a DHS agent and said he also falsely told others that he is a former Ranger. However, he put the matter heavily on Ali, telling the feds that “Ali is the individual who funds most of their day-to-day operations but Taherzadeh does not know the source of the funds.”
“You could call it karma,” an old friend and business partner in Kansas City who started a now-defunct IT consulting business with Taherzadeh told The Daily Beast. “I got burned a couple of different times and I ended up walking away.”
Court records do not explain what Taherzadeh and Ali are said to hope to achieve, and prosecutors did not elaborate during a remand hearing on Friday.
The friend said he was extremely curious to know what Taherzadeh’s end game was.
“Part of me just wants to tell you, it’s because he can,” he said.
Taherzadeh moved from Missouri to the Washington, DC area in the early 2000s, a friend, a local business owner, and asked to remain anonymous so as not to surprise his customers. A few years earlier, the two had begun jointly running online operations for various companies.
This friend said the finances are overseen by Taherzadeh. He said he was being paid a regular salary, and that the two lived and worked at a local townhouse.
Joe Lehman, who knows both men in Kansas City, told The Daily Beast: “The servers are on the bottom floor, and the third floor is the party floor.
Everything seemed fine — for a while, Taherzadeh’s former business partner said. Until one day, when Taherzadeh called to ask him to work for six months on a project he was working on for a food manufacturer.
“I set my price for six months and I never got paid,” he said. “He will string me, string me, and string me along.”
Around this time, when the friend was still hoping to get paid, he said Taherzadeh hired him to install some server equipment for a client he was working with. This time, Taherzadeh gave him a check at the end of the job, representing payment in full.
“He was good at making friends and making people feel welcome,” said the friend. “And even if he does burn you, he’ll still try to act like it’s not that big of a deal, you know?”
At the time, the friend was broke, living in a trailer with no bank account, he said. So he was very happy to have a few dollars in his pocket. But about a month after he cashed the check, he learned that Taherzadeh had been arrested for check fraud after attempting to cash out a check he had written for himself.
Taherzadeh was arrested on April 9, 2007, for the misdemeanor charge of giving a bad check for less than $500, according to Clay, Missouri Circuit Court records.
Police then charged the friend with fraud and threatened him with charges, he said.
“They chased me,” he said. “I had a detective sweat it out for me for weeks, telling me I was going to jail for forgery. But in the end, I’m not a bad check writer. I had the check given to me. ”
On November 15, 2007, Taherzadeh made a settlement and pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 180 days and two years of probation, which were also suspended, court records show. The friend was eventually able to settle his matter without facing a trial, and while he was initially charged, prosecutors dropped the case and his record is now open. was clean, he said. But not before his life was turned upside down in the process.
“Clay County is trying to pin it on someone,” said the friend. “That was probably the last time we actually spoke to each other, and then he bailed out to DC. The last time I spoke to him, it wasn’t pretty.”
While living in Missouri, Taherzadeh was also arrested and convicted of DWI charges, and served two weeks in prison. He was also sued for non-payment of rent and credit card bills, being considered defaulted in both cases. A few years later, Taherzadeh was convicted in Virginia of assaulting his wife. Pending sentencing in that case, Taherzadeh was arrested and charged with assault and assault on his girlfriend, according to a detention memo filed by prosecutors on Friday, who did not specify Taherzadeh. convicted or not.
For this reason, prosecutors said in their detention memo that Taherzadeh is prohibited from “possessing a firearm or even a volley of ammunition.”
Reached by The Daily Beast on Friday, Taherzadeh’s court-appointed attorney, Michelle Peterson, said, “We will not be commenting outside of the courtroom.”
Prior to that in 2007, Joe Lehman formed an LLC with Taherzadeh so he could bid for a city contract providing dog permits for Kansas City.
Lehman, who now works in logistics, told The Daily Beast that Taherzadeh convinced him to put his name on the incorporation papers after his partner in the venture “sponsored him”.
The contract involved manufacturing metal tags attached to dog collars, Lehman said, which Taherzadeh had no experience with.
“Somehow he can bullshit enough to win the bid,” Lehman said. “He told me he needed to meet all of these city officials, and he wanted to put me in front. I formed an LLC, I wear a suit and tie, [and] we went and showed these people an empty office building. ”
The two would be the “middlemen,” Lehman continued, saying Taherzadeh told him they would “order them, stamp them and light them, then ship them to the City and we would get paid. ”
“He said he asked his supplier for the card, and then the whole thing never went anywhere, that never happened,” Lehman said. “He left, and last I heard, he was like a Border Patrol agent or some asshole.”
Of course, Taherzadeh is not a Border Patrol agent, nor is he any of what he claims to be, such as a former Ranger, according to federal prosecutors .
“This investigation is less than two weeks,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein said at a remand hearing on Friday. “And every day, the truth gets worse… The defendants didn’t merely play disguises with guns and ammunition, armor, tactical equipment, surveillance equipment, they committed the act. represents a serious threat to the public and compromises the operations of federal law enforcement and poses a potential national security threat. ”
In the memo about the government’s detention, prosecutors made a series of disturbing allegations about Taherzadeh and Ali. The duo “pretend to recruit other individuals into law enforcement and their spoofing practices — including shooting one person with an air gun — and take advantage of their fake law enforcement status to identify himself with other law enforcement officers in sensitive positions,” reads the prison memo. “They compromised the United States Secret Service (USSS) employees involved in the protection details and access to the White House complex by giving them gifts, including free lives. rent. And they procure, store, and use all kinds of secret law enforcement and trade tools: firearms, including handguns, scopes, and brass knuckles; surveillance equipment, including drones, antennae, hard drives and hard drive clones; tools for identity production, including Personal Identification Verification (PIV) card generators and passport photos; and tactical gear, including vests, gas masks, breach gear, police lights, and various law enforcement badges. “
Taherzadeh’s friend and former partner in IT consulting enjoyed spending time with him and said the two had “all these common interests”. They play video games together and “have a party or something,” but both know that eventually they will “have to grow up.”
“He always liked guns but that was never his main focus or priority,” the friend, who now works in the HVAC business, told The Daily Beast. “He never expressed interest in law enforcement when I got to know him. He once talked about being able to become a lawyer. “
“Live and learn,” he said. “Don’t have a business partner… or don’t do business with friends. I know I will never get the money and once he leaves town, what can I do? I failed, not that I can chase him to DC. I just have to go out on bail.”
He said a year or two ago, Taherzadeh sent him a “friend” request on Facebook, but he ignored it.
“I haven’t spoken to the guy in a decade,” he said. “So I started going through his profile and seeing what was posted. It’s all about the lifestyle stuff, but there are pictures of him in police gear and tactical gear… I said, ‘Wow, damn it.’ But I still don’t want to be friends with you.”
On Friday, Magistrates Court Judge G. Michael Hervey ordered Taherzadeh and Ali to be detained without bail.
“That’s a deplorable thing,” said Taherzadeh’s old friend, laughing. “But am I really surprised? I’m not shocked.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/homeland-security-conman-arian-taherzadehs-arrest-is-karma-says-former-friend-from-kansas-city?source=articles&via=rss Homeland Security Arresting Conman Arian Taherzadeh Was ‘Karma,’ Says Old Friend From Kansas City