MobileCoin founder Bob Lee’s murder was planned, prosecutors say

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The fatal stabbing of Bob Lee, the founder of Cash App and cryptocurrency project MobileCoin, was deliberate, according to prosecutors in a court document on Friday.

Suspect Nima Momeni is accused of stabbing Lee three times with a kitchen knife in early April over an argument about his sister, Khazar Elyassnia.

MobileCoin is an initial coin offering (ICO) that launched in April 2021. It’s associated with encrypted messenger Signal — its price soared from under $2 in December 2020 to over $71 and is now worth less than $2. As Protos previously reported, MobileCoin was likely the reason crypto exchange FTX was insolvent long before the collapse of the Terra/Luna ecosystem in May 2022.

Prosecutors say that Momeni murdered Lee in San Francisco in a “planned and deliberate attack.” The 38-year-old tech consultant brought Lee to a secluded spot before stabbing him repeatedly. According to the testimony of a longtime friend, Lee, Momeni’s sister, and the friend were drinking together the night before the attack.

Read more: MobileCoin exec Bob Lee stabbed to death in San Francisco attack

The friend claims to have witnessed a heated conversation in which Momeni questioned Lee’s friendship with his sister, and asked whether she “was doing drugs or anything inappropriate.” Lee denied this.

The friend left Lee around 12:30am. Then, Lee went to Momeni’s sister’s apartment, according to video surveillance. Lee and Momeni left the building together after 2am in Momeni’s car.

Momeni drove Lee to a secluded spot in San Francisco’s Rincon Hill neighbourhood and suddenly stabbed him, prosecutors say. An autopsy revealed Lee was stabbed once in the hip and twice, fatally, in the chest.

Momeni has denied his right to a speedy trial. The 38-year-old is currently detained without bail and faces 26 years to life in prison if found guilty. 

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