This morning, over the course of a three-hour hearing, Arian Taherzadeh accepted a plea-bargain from the U.S. Attorney and pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court – D.C to three charges; a federal conspiracy offense and two District of Columbia offenses, unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device and voyeurism. Sentencing is scheduled to occur on November 2.

On the basis of today’s hearing, where Taherzadeh agreed to be a cooperating witness, including potentially appearing before a grand jury, it does not appear that  Taherzadeh was operating at the direction of a foreign government, rather he was an astute and crafty con artist.

In April 2022, Taherzadeh and his co-conspirator Haider Ali were arrested and the bizarre case of two Department of Homeland Security imposters was shared, as were the duo’s ability to engage and befriend members of the United States Secret Service, to include members of the uniformed division and those providing protective detail to the First Lady of the United States. As details became known, the question on everyone’s mind was, is there a foreign hand or are these two involved in a great con where they ingratiate themselves with federal law enforcement and swindle various landlords and acquire access to apartments for living and criminal activity?

As noted above, it appears this was a giant con – in a great cosplay effort – with a shopping list of victims.

What is the scope of Taherzadeh’s criminal activity?

  • Impersonated officer/employee of DHS, DOJ, OPM and other federal agencies
  • Created his private entity called “United States Special Police” and a fictitious DHS task force
  • Created an alias ostensibly affiliated with Federal law enforcement, Morgan Noble. Defrauded three luxury complexes (Crossing, Carver Apartments and Sonnet) to the tune of $800,000 of rental value. The Sonnet evicted him in 2019 after suffering $253,202.51 in losses. The Carver Apartments took a hit for $149,884.02. While the Crossing saw a loss of $306,879.37.
  • Used the false affiliation with DHS to ingratiate self with federal law enforcement to include USSS and provide gifts totally more than $90,000 to include access to an apartment rent free for a period of one year (which had been conned out of the building management).
  • Attempted to recruit multiple individuals (four identified in the court documents) into their conspiracy with bogus tests, training and administrative processes.
  • While at the Crossings, Taherzadeh “installed, maintained and utilized surveillance cameras in his bedroom. He used these cameras to record women engaged in sexual activity. He would show the explicit videos to third parties.”

What’s next for Taherzadeh?

In November he faces sentencing for the three crimes to which he pleaded guilty, which will most likely include a period of incarceration and an order of restitution.

Taherzadeh has been released from home confinement with his ankle GPS device removed and may return to work (not further identified), with the conditions to report to pre-trial services once a week telephonically, continue to live with his father, limit travel to the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area, obtain pre-approval for any travel within the U.S. outside the proscribed DMV area, no international travel, and no firearms possession.

Taherzadeh’s co-conspirator, Haider Ali has pleaded not guilty to pending federal charges.

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Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is an author and speaker on the topic of security strategy. Christopher, served 30+ years within the Central Intelligence Agency. He lived and worked in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. Upon his retirement, the CIA awarded him the Career Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the highest level of career recognition. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century” (Syngress, March 2008). He is the founder of