One of the two men accused of impersonating federal agents in the nation's capital has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, to charges stemming from a scheme in which he pretended to be a federal law enforcement officer to secure apartments in which he then failed to pay rent. He also used the ruse to promote his security company and ingratiate himself with actual officers.
According to plea documents, Taherzadeh created a business entity called United States Special Police LLC (USSP), which was described as a private law enforcement, investigative and protective service based in Washington. The company was not associated in any way with the United States government or the District of Columbia.
As the scheme unfolded between December 2018 and April 2022, Taherzadeh falsely claimed to be, among other things, a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, a member of a multi-jurisdictional federal task force, a former United States Air Marshal and a former Army Ranger.
Taherzadeh and others used assumed law enforcement personas, false and fictious federal law enforcement supervisors and the company to obtain leases for multiple apartments in three complexes in the District of Columbia. These apartment buildings sustained more than $800,000 in losses from unpaid rent, parking and associated fees.
In one such apartment, Taherzadeh maintained and possessed an unlicensed gun with five fully loaded large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, containing a total of 61 rounds of ammunition.
Taherzadeh and others also obtained law enforcement clothing, paraphernalia and equipment including, among other things:
-Police patches and badges
- Tactical gear and equipment
- Police lights
- A Sig Sauer P229 firearm
- A Glock 19 9mm handgun
- Large quantities of ammunition
- Concealed carry holsters
- Surveillance equipment
- Unlicensed long gun components
According to the plea documents, beginning as early as the spring of 2020, Taherzadeh began falsely identifying himself as a Special Agent to employees of the U.S. Secret Service. For instance, he falsely claimed to two Secret Service employees that he was in a gang unit. He told another that he was part of a covert task force.
Taherzadeh also provided these Secret Service employees with tangible and intangible gifts. For instance, Taherzadeh provided one employee and his wife with a generator and a doomsday/survival backpack. He provided another employee with a rent-free penthouse apartment for approximately one year, worth approximately $40,200.
He provided a third employee with a rent-free apartment for approximately one year, worth an estimated $48,240, as well as a drone, a gun locker and a Pelican case.
According to the plea documents, he did so to ingratiate himself with Secret Service employees because it deepened their relationship and furthered his ability to impersonate himself as a federal law enforcement officer.
Finally, Taherzadeh installed surveillance cameras outside and inside his apartment in one of the complexes. Among other places, he installed, maintained and utilized cameras in his bedroom. He used these cameras to record women engaged in sexual activity. Taherzadeh then showed these explicit videos to third parties.
Taherzadeh and a co-defendant, Haider Ali, 36, also of Washington, D.C., were arrested on April 6, 2022. Ali has pleaded not guilty to charges filed against him in an indictment.