2nd man pleads guilty in fake federal agent scheme

A D.C. man accused of posing as a federal law enforcement officer in a bizarre scheme involving guns, Secret Service agents and a luxury apartment complex, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud charges.

Haider Ali, 36, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court for D.C. to one count of conspiracy and one count of bank fraud, which are both federal offenses. He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Ali and his co-conspirator, 40-year-old Arian Taherzadeh, were arrested in April. Taherzadeh pleaded guilty in August for his role in the scheme.

Ali and Taherzadeh operated a business called United States Special Police LLC (USSP), and represented themselves to legitimate law enforcement as special agents with the Department of Homeland Security.

Prosecutors said the two used their fake positions to ingratiate themselves with law enforcement officers and to recruit others into their scheme. Original charging documents said the two had provided gifts to Secret Service agents, including the use of rent-free penthouse apartments and more, in order to ingratiate themselves with the law enforcement officers.

One agent, who was part of first lady Dr. Jill Biden’s security detail, told prosecutors that Taherzadeh was “the ‘go-to guy’ if a resident [needed] anything in the building,” lent the agent vehicles and showed them security footage from the apartment complex.

Prosecutors said Ali and Taherzadeh also used their fake personas to maintain multiple leases and parking spaces for a supposed law enforcement operation at a luxury apartment complex in Southeast D.C. Prosecutors said the two men failed to pay rent, resulting in a loss of $306,987 in rent and $7,854 in parking fees.



As the scheme went on, Ali 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. Taherzadeh falsely claimed to be, among other things, a member of a multi-jurisdictional federal task force, a former United States Air Marshal, and a former Army Ranger.

In April, the FBI searched five residences among three apartment buildings and three vehicles, and found body armor, firearms, gas masks, zip ties, handcuffs, equipment to break through doors, drones, radios and police training manuals, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein.

In addition, according to the plea documents, Ali carried out a bank fraud scheme in which he generated more than $1 million by fraudulently executing out debit and credit card transactions.

Ali faces up to 78 months in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in February next year.

Taherzadeh pleaded guilty in August on a federal conspiracy offense, unlawful possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device and voyeurism for illegally recording and disseminating content of women engaged in sexual activity.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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