Nima Momeni, Bob Lee Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Nima Momeni is an “IT consultant” and “entrepreneur” who is the suspect accused of stabbing San Francisco, California, tech executive Bob Lee to death, the San Francisco Police Department said at an April 13, 2023, press conference announcing Momeni’s arrest.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said at the news conference that Momeni is being charged with murder and with a penalty enhancer “alleging this murder was committed with a knife.” She said her office is asking that Momeni be held without bail.

Mission Local first reported that Momeni was arrested in Lee’s murder. Lee, who founded Cash App and was a cryptocurrency executive at MobileCoin, was stabbed to death on April 4, 2023, according to police. His slaying in a public space increased concerns about crime in San Francisco amid fears that the attack was random.

However, Jenkins and the police chief both confirmed that Lee and Momeni knew each other. Jenkins said the crime was “jarring” to the community.

“This is more about human nature and human behavior than it is about our city,” said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, at the news conference. He added, “This is not about San Francisco. Mr. Momeni is our focus and the single suspect in this case.”

The Daily Beast also reported that Momeni is the suspect, writing that Lee’s ex-wife Krista Lee “identified the suspect as Nima Momeni, calling him a ‘soulless piece of s***’ in a text message” to the publication.

San Francisco County jail records reviewed by Heavy confirm that Momeni was booked into the jail on a murder accusation.

Lee managed to make a 911 call as he was dying, according to the San Francisco Standard, which reported he said, “Help! Someone stabbed me.”

Here’s what you need to know about Nima Momeni, the suspect in Bob Lee’s murder:

1. Nima Momeni Is Accused of Stabbing Bob Lee Because of a Confrontation Over Momeni’s Sister, Reports Say

Momeni “confronted Lee about Lee’s relationship with the suspect’s sister,” prosecutors argue, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

According to court records obtained by the Chronicle, Lee was drinking with friends before the murder, including Momeni’s sister, Khazar Elyassnia, at an apartment.

A friend told prosecutors that the sister’s marriage was “possibly been in jeopardy,” and Lee asked Elyassnia if she wanted to join him and another friend when they left, but she said no, according to the Chronicle.

Lee then spoke on the phone with Momeni and Momeni “interrogated him about his sister and Lee tried to reassure Momeni that his sister was not doing drugs and that ‘nothing inappropriate had happened,’” the Chronicle reported, according to court records, which say that Lee “left his friend at 12:30 a.m. on April 4, apparently to visit Momeni’s sister at her condominium in the Millennium Tower.”

Momeni showed up also, and they left together, the Chronicle reported. Momeni’s sister’s phone texted Lee, “Just wanted to make sure your doing ok cause I know Nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you and thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class love you selfish pricks,” The Chronicle reported.

According to the San Francisco Standard, Momeni’s sister appeared in court at a hearing in the homicide case for her brother. She was accompanied by her husband Dino Elyassania, the newspaper reported. He is a plastic surgeon, according to his website.

According to Mission Local, San Francisco police arrested Momeni “following an operation undertaken outside the city’s borders.” The news site reported: “The alleged killer also works in tech.” The site reported that police traveled to Emeryville to make the arrest. Online records show Momeni with an Emeryville, California, address.

Matt Dorsey, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, confirmed the arrest on Twitter, although he did not name the suspect. “I’m grateful to @SFPD’s Homicide Detail and all the officers from @SFPDSouthern and elsewhere for their tireless work to bring Bob Lee’s killer to justice and for their arrest of a suspect this morning,” Dorsey wrote.

“Obviously, nothing can undo this senseless crime, and we reiterate our condolences to Mr. Lee’s family members, friends and colleagues. But I hope today’s arrest can begin a process of healing and closure for all those touched by this tragedy,” he continued.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at the April 13, 2023, news conference that the San Francisco Police Department and investigators “worked tirelessly” to make sure the case was handled “appropriately.” She said the same attention should be brought to every homicide case.

Scott said at the news conference that officers had responded to a report of a stabbing. He said that Lee died at the hospital. Homicide investigators developed informration “identifying the suspect as 38-year-old Nimo Momeni.” Scott said that police served search warrants and an arrest warrant and took Momeni into custody in Emeryville.

“There is a lot of evidence,” Scott said, but he would not detail it, saying they wanted to make sure they obtain “justice” for Lee and his family.

Jenkins, the district attorney, commended police in the news conference, calling the crime “heinous.” Police did not immediately have a suspect, she said. “Mr. Lee’s killer has been identified,” she said. She condemned what she labeled “misinformation” in the case.

2. Nima Momeni Described Himself on LinkedIn as a ‘Dedicated Technology Partner’

On LinkedIn, Momeni described himself as a “dedicated technology partner since 2005, supporting a variety of client vertical markets in Healthcare, Finance, High Tech/Startup, Technology, Manufacturing and Service sectors.”

Momeni wrote on LinkedIn that he is the owner of Expand IT, Inc., which he has owned in San Francisco for more than 13 years. Before that, he was a consultant for Diablo IT and an IT admin/consultant for Coast Range IT. He has also worked as a system/network engineer, according to his LinkedIn page.

Daily Beast reported that Lee “had recently moved to Miami but was back in the Bay Area for a brief visit.” He was stabbed “at about 2:35 a.m. in a downtown area studded with other tech offices and million-dollar condos,” Daily Beast reported. The San Francisco Standard reported that Lee was stabbed twice to the chest. Police arrived in six minutes, according to the news site.

According to the Standard, Lee was “Square’s first CTO and was the developer of its Cash App (formerly called Square Cash).”

3. Nima Momeni Wrote on LinkedIn That He Attended the University of California, Berkeley, But the University Denies It

Under education, Momeni wrote that he attended the University of California, Berkeley, Laney College and Vista College on his LinkedIn page. He listed “cloud computing” under his skills.

However, NBC News reported that a spokesperson for U.C. Berkeley said the university has “no record of graduation or attendance” for Nima Momeni.

He also wrote that he had “native or bilingual proficiency” in Farsi as well as in English.

Momeni has a Facebook page with the same profile picture as his LinkedIn page. However, the only other thing visible on it is a skiing picture.

There is a Soundcloud account under his name.

4. Nima Momeni’s Attorney Says He Is Innocent, Reports Say

Momeni’s attorney, Paula Canny, told The San Francisco Chronicle that she believes he’s innocent.

“I think it’s interesting that they didn’t identify their source,” she told the newspaper about the friend who gave details about Lee and Momeni’s sister.

Scott, the police chief, confirmed that Lee and Momeni “knew each other” but did not explain in what way or how law enforcement came to that conclusion. Mission Local reported that police believe the two men were driving together in a car on the day of the homicide.

A “confrontation” of some type occurred, and police accuse Momeni of stabbing Lee “multiple times with a knife,” the site reported.

San Francisco police wrote in a statement on Facebook that, on April 4, 2023, at approximately 2:35 a.m., San Francisco Police officers from Southern Station “responded to the 300 block of Main Street for a report of a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and located the victim, later identified as 43-year-old Robert Lee, suffering from apparent stab wounds.”

Police “rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene. The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Despite efforts by first responders and medical personnel, the victim succumbed to injuries,” San Francisco police wrote.

5. Video Showed Bob Lee Collapsing After He was Stabbed

Video showed the moment Lee collapsed inside a building after being stabbed.

In the video, which was first obtained by the San Francisco Standard, Lee, after being stabbed, holds his side and walks up to a motorist, who drives away without helping him.

Lee then collapsed inside an apartment lobby, the video shows.

Krista Lee told KTVU-TV that, although she believes Momeni and Lee knew each other, she is not clear what the motive is.

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