Second man accused of impersonating federal agent in DC pleads guilty

Haider Ali, 36, of Washington, D.C.

The second of two men accused of impersonating federal agents in the nation's capital has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Haider Ali, 36, pleaded guilty to charges on Wednesday stemming from a scheme in which he pretended to be a federal law enforcement officer for a range of purposes, including to secure apartments which he then failed to pay rent for.

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He also admitted to carrying out a bank fraud scheme in which he obtained more than $1 million and used his false law enforcement credentials to pressure individuals to join the scheme.

The charges against Ali include one count each of conspiracy and bank fraud and unlawful possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device.

READ MORE: FBI arrests two men accused of impersonating federal law enforcement officers in DC

According to court documents, Ali and a co-conspirator, Arian Taherzadeh, 40, also of Washington, D.C., operated a business called United States Special Police LLC (USSP), which was described as a private law enforcement, investigative, and protective service based in D.C. that claimed to be part of Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The documents say both men used the false claims to recruit others to join their "task force" or "unit," and they even ingratiated themselves with employees of the U.S. Secret Service to help further the scheme.

Haider Ali, 36 (Left), and Arian Taherzadeh, 40 (Right).

Despite the claim, the two men's 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, Ali falsely claimed at various times that he was a member of the DHS and/or the U.S. Secret Service. He also falsely claimed that he participated in the capture of the wife of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, that his family had a royal bloodline, and that he had a connection to a senior official in the Pakistani Intelligence Service. 

Court documents say both Ali and Taherzadeh used their assumed law enforcement personas and the business to maintain leases for multiple apartments and parking spaces for a supposed law enforcement operation at a luxury apartment complex in Southeast, D.C.

These units included a penthouse where Ali and Taherzadeh possessed, among other things, a Glock handgun registered to Ali that was loaded with a large-capacity ammunition feeding device, surveillance equipment, law enforcement tactical gear and a machine capable of programming Personal Identification Verification (PIV) cards used to create false credentials. 

They also used their false identification with law enforcement to obtain security footage in the building, as well as, a list of the building’s residents and their personal information.

READ MORE: Man accused of impersonating federal agent pleads guilty to carrying out conspiracy

Throughout their tenancy, no rent was paid on the leased apartments or parking garage, resulting in a loss to the building of $306,987 and to the garage of $7,854.

Additionally, according to the plea documents, beginning as early as May 2017 and continuing through March 2021, Ali engaged in a bank fraud scheme in which he generated more than $1 million in gross receipts from one or more financial institutions. He used bank accounts that he and others maintained and controlled to falsely and fraudulently execute debit and credit card transactions.

Ali and Taherzadeh were arrested on April 6, and Taherzadeh later pleaded guilty on August 1 to a federal conspiracy offense, unlawful possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device and voyeurism. A sentencing date for Taherzadeh has not yet been set.

Ali's plea agreement recommends he spend 63 to 78 months in prison. A sentencing date for Ali has been scheduled for February 24, 2023.