The scam reportedly began in February 2020. courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Fake Secret Service agents infiltrate government

Two men impersonated Secret Service agents for over two years, fooling government officials and law enforcement.

At the beginning of this month, Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali were arrested for impersonating officers of the Department of Homeland Security. Taherzadeh and Ali kept up their charade for over two years and — according to the Justice Department’s account — pose a threat to the community and are a flight risk.

The scheme is said to have begun in February 2020, and would have likely continued much longer than it did if the names of the two individuals had not shown up to a postal inspector in another case unrelated to this one.

The Justice Department reports that the two perpetrators had a stockpile of weapons and other military-esque equipment as well as records of overseas contacts and travel. According to a memo written by the prosecutors, “The Defendants were not merely playing dress-up. They had firearms, they had ammunition, they had body armor, they had tactical gear, they had surveillance equipment.”

In addition to the above information, there are uncorroborated reports that Taherzadeh and Ali have some form of connections to the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service. According to The Washington Post, “The Embassy of Pakistan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.” No motive for their actions have been identified, and prosecutors are still working on procuring a source of the funding for this con.

“Neither Defendant is even employed by the United States government. But their impersonation scheme was sufficiently realistic to convince other government employees, including law enforcement agents, of their false identities,” wrote the prosecutors. “They pretended to recruit other individuals to law enforcement and their fake operation […] and leveraged their phony law enforcement status to ingratiate themselves to other law enforcement agents in sensitive positions.”

Four Secret Service agents did reportedly accept the tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts that Ali and Taherzadeh offered, which included rent-free apartments. These agents have been put on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

According to the affidavit, Taherzadeh offered to buy an assault rifle worth $2,000 for one of the agents, who was assigned to First Lady Jill Biden’s personal detail at the time. In one of the two men’s apartments, the weapons found included loaded Glock 19 Sig Sauer handguns, among other related items. Taherzadeh was previously charged with assault and battery of his wife in 2013 and has since been barred from owning any sort of firearm.

Other items found in the two fraudulent federal agents’ possession included Homeland Security patches, a SWAT-quality drone, hand-held radios, gas masks and body armor. Additionally, there were documents found in the men’s possession marked “law enforcement sensitive.”

The two are confirmed to be United States citizens, but Ali had five different visas in his possession, two for Iran travel and three for Pakistan. It seems that he allegedly traveled to Iran just a month before he began his stint as a fake federal agent. The Pakistan visas are even older.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein has asked for the two men to remain detained until trial. Neither Ali nor Taherzadeh have entered any sort of formal plea at this time.

Post Author: Logan Guthrie