: A tech consultant was arrested on Thursday for the fatal stabbing of Cash App founder Bob Lee in San Francisco. According to the police, the suspect knew the victim but is declining to discuss a possible motive for the crime.
Nima Momeni, 38, and Lee, 43, knew each other, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said at a news conference, but he declined to elaborate on their connection. Momeni was taken into custody Thursday morning in Emeryville, a San Francisco suburb, and booked on suspicion of murder, reported news agency Associated Press.
Lee was found stumbling through the streets of San Francisco at around 2.30 am Pacific Time on April 4 bleeding from a stab wound. Lee, 43, later died of his wounds at a hospital.
Scott declined to give details on how they linked the killing to Momeni. The chief also refused to disclose a possible motive.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement that Momeni has been charged with murder in Lee’s death and is expected to be arraigned on Friday. Prosecutors will ask a judge to hold him without bail, she said.
It was not immediately clear whether Momeni has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
On his LinkedIn profile, Momeni describes himself as an “IT Consultant/Entrepreneur” as well as the owner of a company called Expand IT. Business filings with the state list Momeni as the chief executive officer, secretary and chief financial officer of Expand IT INC, described as an information technology consulting business. He signed the filing in August 2022, reported AP.
LinkedIn profile of Momeni says he has been “a dedicated technology partner since 2005” and that he started Expand IT in 2010.
In 2011, Momeni was charged with a misdemeanour for carrying a switchblade, criminal records show, but the case was dismissed after he took a plea deal.
Lee was the chief product officer of the cryptocurrency company MobileCoin. He also credited with founding Cash App, a smartphone-based platform that allows person-to-person money transfers. The app is popular in the US.
Lee’s death garnered many tributes from figures in the US tech industry.
“I acknowledge and understand how the loss of a young, vibrant leader and innovator has rocked our city and even beyond,” Jenkins said at the news conference.
Lee’s brother, Tim Oliver Lee, posted on Facebook the family’s gratitude to the San Francisco Police Department for catching the suspect. Tim Lee said his brother dreamed of making technology accessible to all and that he made friends from all walks of life.
Elon Musk, took to Twitter to mourn Lee’s death and blame San Francisco for what they called the city’s lax attitude toward crime. Musk tweeted at Jenkins, saying that crime in San Francisco is “horrific” and that even when attackers are caught, they are often immediately released.
Mayor London Breed and other top city officials have pushed against that narrative and on Thursday, Jenkins addressed Musk directly.
“I must point out that reckless and irresponsible statements like those contained in Musk tweet that assumed incorrect circumstances about Lee’s death serve to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco,” Jenkins said.