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Bob Lee killing: What role did drugs play in SF slaying of tech exec?

Three photos show Bob Lee, Khazar Momeni and Nima Momeni.
Bob Lee, left, Khazar Momeni, center, and Nima Momeni, right | Drew Altizer; Vincent Gotti; Emily Pillon | Source: Drew Altizer; Vincent Gotti; Emily Pillon

Slain tech executive Bob Lee visited a suspected drug dealer’s apartment with the sister of his alleged killer just hours before his violent death, The Standard has learned from a source with knowledge of the case.

What may have happened inside the apartment that day could end up playing a key role in the nationally watched murder case against Nima Momeni, 38, who allegedly stabbed Lee to death with a kitchen knife on April 4.

Prosecutors say Momeni questioned Lee about whether his sister, Khazar Momeni, was doing drugs or “anything inappropriate” after she left the apartment on Mission Street near Van Ness Avenue on April 3.

The apartment is home to a man convicted last year of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell. Police previously arrested him for allegedly having a range of substances including meth, cocaine, ecstasy, acid and magic mushrooms.

READ MORE: Bob Lee Killing: Supporters of Slain Tech Exec Appear at Hearing of Alleged Murderer Nima Momeni

Those are among the new details unearthed by The Standard, indicating that people involved in the case were part of a rich set of San Franciscans who did party drugs behind the closed doors of ritzy high-rises.

“We are actively investigating the background of the conduct of all the parties for the three or four days before the incident,” Paula Canny, the defense attorney for Nima Momeni, told The Standard. “A common theme that I’m seeing is heavy illegal narcotics use.”

Nima Momeni, right, and a friend attend an event at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco in 2021. | Emily Pillon

Lee, the 43-year-old creator of Cash App and chief product officer of MobileCoin, was killed while on a visit to San Francisco from his new home in Miami. He still used the nickname “Crazy Bob” from his fraternity days and was known to use drugs recreationally, one friend said.

Khazar Momeni, known to many acquaintances as “Tina,” may have used drugs so frequently that it worried her brother and caused rifts with her friends, according to Samira Kuduzovic, who said she was friends with the siblings, and two other people close to Khazar Momeni who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Nima Momeni, an information technology consultant who lives in Emeryville, was arrested more than a week after the killing at his East Bay home. He has yet to enter a plea and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. 

The Night Before the Killing 

In the hours before the stabbing, Lee, Khazar Momeni, the suspected drug dealer and an unidentified friend were at the apartment in the 1500 block of Mission Street, according to a source familiar with the case and court records. 

The Standard is not naming the man who lived in the apartment at this point because the extent of his role in the case is unclear.

In 2022, he was found guilty of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell in two separate cases.

During two raids of his previous residences, police found an array of drugs including GBL (a compound similar to the date rape drug), nitrous oxide, MDMA and LSD, according to court documents. Prosecutors described him as “deeply engaged in the trafficking of controlled substances.”

A view of 1550 Mission Street in San Francisco on Thursday, April 20, 2023. MobileCoin CTO Bob Lee was believed to have been partying at 1550 Mission hours before he was murdered on April 4, 2023. | RJ Mickelson/The Standard

After leaving the apartment, prosecutors say Lee went to the hotel where he was staying on the Embarcadero and Khazar Momeni went to her home at the Millennium Tower. At some point later, Nima Momeni allegedly became upset with Lee and questioned him about the “inappropriate conduct” and drug use.

Lee reassured Nima Momeni that nothing inappropriate happened, prosecutors say.

Both Lee and Nima Momeni ended up at the Millennium Tower that night, prosecutors say. Court documents showed police have surveillance footage that captured them leaving together and driving to a spot beneath the Bay Bridge, where investigators say Lee was stabbed.

Khazar Momeni appears to have messaged Lee about the April 3 confrontation.

Khazar Momeni, left, and her husband, Dr. Dino Elyassnia, right, attend a court hearing for Nima Momeni | Justin Katigbak for The Standard

“Just wanted to make sure your doing ok Cause I know nima came wayyyyyy down hard on you,” she wrote in a text recovered from Lee’s phone, according to prosecutors. “And thank you for being such a classy man handling it with class Love you Selfish pricks.”

When contacted, the suspected dealer acknowledged being “close” friends with Lee.

“I loved Bob,” he said.

He said he did not go to the hotel with Lee.

Drug Problems 

Nima and Khazar Momeni were close siblings, often spending time together, say friends and former acquaintances. He lived in Emeryville, while she lived in San Francisco. 

Though no stranger to the party scene himself, Nima Momeni tried to protect his younger sister from possible problems with drug use, according to Kuduzovic, the woman who said she was friends with the siblings.

“He was always playing big brother, always looking after her,” Kuduzovic said.

Kuduzovic said Nima Momeni told her not to give his sister drugs.

Kuduzovic said she eventually wrote to her friend’s husband, prominent plastic surgeon Dr. Dino Elyassnia, to make Khazar Momeni stop calling her.

“She was basically asking me to buy drugs with my money,” she said.

Still, Kuduzovic never expected the situation would end with an alleged murder. She described Nima Momeni as a “sweet guy” and “gentleman.”

Bob Lee, left, poses with friend Taraneh Ipakchi, right. | Courtesy Taraneh Ipakchi

Taraneh Ipakchi, who was close friends with Lee and also knew Khazar Momeni, said she believes the two of them met around 2020.

Their relationship appears to have been romantic, she said. When Ipakchi warned Lee that Khazar Momeni was married, she recalled he told her, “It doesn’t seem like it matters to her because she’s flirting with me.”

Ipakchi also said Lee “liked to party.”

“He liked to, unfortunately, do a lot of drugs,” Ipakchi said. “But he was the sweetest guy ever. He always had this light around him.”

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at