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Tech executive arrested in shock stabbing death of Cash App founder

By Ben Marquis
|
April 14, 2023

Tech executive Bob Lee, the founder of Cash App, was stabbed multiple times and later died in a hospital from his wounds after being assaulted in the early morning hours of April 4 in an upscale area of downtown San Francisco, California.

An arrest was made in the case on Thursday and it has now been revealed that Lee's alleged killer was a fellow tech executive named Nima Momeni, according to a report from Mission Local.

The two men reportedly knew each other and unnamed sources told the outlet that they had actually been riding together in a car registered to Momeni when an argument ensued that spilled out of the vehicle and onto the sidewalk where Lee was then stabbed repeatedly around 2:30 am.

Suspect a fellow tech executive known by Lee

According to Momeni's LinkedIn profile, he is an "IT Consultant/Entrepreneur" who lives in Emeryville and has worked in the tech industry since 2005.

The profile also lists Momeni as the owner of an information technology firm called Expand IT which was established in 2010.

Local NBC affiliate KNTV reported that an August 2022 business filing showed that Momeni was listed as the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and secretary of Expand IT, which was further described as an information technology consultancy firm.

The outlet also noted that Momeni, who now faces a murder charge for the killing of Lee, had been charged in 2011 with the misdemeanor offense of carrying a switchblade but had accepted a plea agreement that resulted in the case being dismissed.

Possible connection to suspect's sister

The San Francisco Standard reported that Momeni was taken into custody at his Emeryville apartment around 5 am on Thursday after police served him with warrants for his arrest as well as to search his residence.

Two other warrants were also issued in connection with Lee's death, one of which was for the room that he was staying in at the 1 Hotel on Mission St. in downtown San Francisco.

The other search warrant was for an apartment located just three blocks away on Mission St. in the Millenium Tower building, which happens to be where Momeni's sister, Khazar Elyassnia, lives with her husband, a well-known plastic surgeon in the city named Dr. Dino Elyassnia.

The Standard was unable to make contact with the Elyassnia couple despite repeated attempts, and it remains unclear at this point what their connection is to Lee's murder and why their residence needed to be searched by the police.

Notably, both the hotel where Lee was staying and the tower where Momeni's sister lives are located less than a mile from where Lee was attacked and stabbed on Main St.

Family "thankful" an arrest was made; Lee to be buried in St. Louis

The Standard further reported that Lee's family issued a statement in response to the news that an arrest had been made, and said, "As a family, we're very thankful to the hard-working detectives at the SFPD for bringing his killer to justice."

The statement added, "Our next steps will be to work with the district attorney's office to ensure that this person is not allowed to hurt anyone else or walk free."

Fox News reported Friday that according to The Green Street Mortuary in San Francisco, Lee's body will soon be transported to Missouri and buried in his native city of St. Louis.

Lee had lived in San Francisco for about 20 years but had just relocated to Miami, Florida in October 2022, in part due to his concerns about crime in the Bay Area but also because the tech industry in the Miami area was booming in comparison to the Silicon Valley.

KNTV reported that police are continuing to investigate Lee's murder and have asked the public for any help that can be given, particularly with regard to any surveillance camera footage from the area around the time of the attack that could help shed light on exactly what happened prior to the fatal stabbing.