Two men were arrested in Washington DC Wednesday for pretending to be federal operatives who gifted Secret Service agents with lavish handouts in an effort to gain access to them.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36 posed as members of a fake Department of Homeland Security task force investigating violence connected to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol, the feds said.
The suspects allegedly set up the ruse to ingratiate themselves with Secret Service agents, who they supplied with rent-free luxury apartments, high-end electronics and policing equipment.
One of the duped agents worked on first lady Jill Biden’s security detail and was offered a $2,000 assault rifle from Taherzadeh, according to prosecutors.
In another instance, the suspects allegedly supplied an agent with a penthouse apartment that was rented for more than $40,000 a year.
Four Secret Service members were placed on leave in connection with the investigation, officials said.
The scam was exposed when postal inspectors began looking into an attack on a mail carrier at the suspects’ apartment building, and Taherzadeh and Ali identified themselves as being members of a non-existent federal unit.
The alleged fake feds had also set up surveillance in the building and told other residents they could access their cellphones and personal information, investigators said.
They were arrested Wednesday evening when more than a dozen FBI agents raided the luxury building in Southeast DC.
With AP wires