The day before Nima Momeni allegedly stabbed tech executive Bob Lee to death in Downtown San Francisco, prosecutors said the two men argued over inappropriate behavior involving Momeni’s sister Khazar Momeni.
But defense attorneys for Momeni, who is facing a murder charge in the death of the Cash App founder, cast doubt at a court hearing Monday on the notion that Lee was behind that inappropriate behavior.
Rather, they raised the specter that Lee’s alleged drug dealer, Jeremy Boivin, was at the center of the feud.
“The inappropriate things that had gone on were between Khazar and Jeremy Boivin,” Saam Zangeneh, a defense attorney for Nima Momeni, said in court.
Witnesses told police that Boivin supplied Khazar Momeni with a drug called GHB, which is also known as a date-rape drug, during a party at his apartment a day before the fatal stabbing.
That alleged drug use led Nima Momeni to threaten Boivin shortly before the stabbing, according to police testimony in the case.
The new details add a twist to the case as a judge prepares to decide whether there is enough evidence for Nima Momeni to stand trial on a murder charge in the April 4 killing of the tech entrepreneur.
To prove first-degree murder, prosecutors need to show that Momeni planned to kill Lee. If Boivin was behind the inappropriate conduct, that could muddy the motive prosecutors presented in the case.
Boivin has past convictions for possession with intent to sell the party drugs MDMA and ketamine, as well as a prior arrest for an alleged sexual assault.
“The government has to show premeditation,” Zangeneh said. “There were questions my client had about [Boivin] due to criminal history and sex assault.”
In response, the prosecutor in the case, Omid Talai, said Tuesday that “the defense has presented and implied a lot of links and theories with no actual evidence to back it up."In April, The Standard reported that Lee and Khazar Momeni spent time with his alleged drug dealer the day before his killing but did not name Boivin, as he was not then publicly linked to the case.
Boivin allegedly gave Khazar Momeni GHB on the afternoon of April 3, San Francisco police homicide inspector Brent Dittmer said in court on Monday, citing witness statements.
That day, Lee, Boivin, Khazar Momeni and several others were partying at her apartment in the Millennium Tower before they went to Boivin’s apartment in South of Market.
After a short while, Lee and a friend left. Khazar Momeni and another woman remained at Boivin’s, where they each took three hits of GHB, according to a woman at the party interviewed by Dittmer.
When the woman awoke, she found Khazar Momeni half-undressed and crying. She then contacted Nima Momeni and Khazar’s husband, Dino Elyassnia, according to Dittmer.
Khazar Momeni was then taken back to her home by her brother and husband.
Hours later, Boivin showed up at Millennium Tower, where Nima Momeni threatened him, Dittmer said.
"I spoke with Mr. Lee's wife or ex-wife, who told me she had spoken with Jeremy Boivin about what had happened when he was inside the apartment," Dittmer said. "Mr. Momeni was behaving in a threatening manner and saying, 'Fuck you. I'll kill you.'"
Boivin left the tower before Lee arrived.
Lee and Nima Momeni were then seen on surveillance video leaving together and getting into Momeni’s car. Prosecutors said Momeni drove Lee to a secluded underpass and stabbed him.
Boivin grew up in a rural county outside Philadelphia, according to court records. In 2011, he came to San Francisco after graduating from college to start a business.
When that endeavor folded, he went to work in the tech industry. According to his LinkedIn profile, Boivin spent nearly five years at payment platform Wyre.
At some point, however, Boivin got involved in selling drugs, eventually becoming a “mid-level dealer,” prosecutors said in court documents.
In March 2022, he admitted to possessing ketamine and MDMA with the intent to sell as part of a plea agreement. In exchange, prosecutors dropped numerous other charges against him.
Court records show that Boivin’s brushes with the law began in 2020, when he was accused of drugging his housekeeper with GHB and sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious.
Boivin was charged but never convicted of sex crimes stemming from the allegations.
While surveilling him as part of that investigation, police arrested Boivin outside his then-apartment in Lower Pacific Heights while he allegedly tried to flee with large amounts of drugs and cash.
Officers caught him loading a Mercedes Benz with several bags containing suspected MDMA and empty jugs labeled “GBL,” a compound similar to the date-rape drug, prosecutors said in court records.
The bags also held numerous baggies often used for drug-dealing, two police radio signal jammers, a gold bar, two silver bars and more than $30,000 in cash.
Inside the apartment, police found evidence that Boivin was “deeply engaged in a large-scale and ongoing trafficking operation,” prosecutors said.
Police discovered an array of drugs, including GBL, nitrous oxide and LSD; bookkeeping records written in black-light ink; false identification; and a “sophisticated surveillance set-up to monitor the house and avoid the attention of law enforcement,” according to court records.
In September 2021, Boivin faced another round of drug-dealing charges.
Police searched his Buchanan Street home again and found a pill press, nearly $48,000 in cash and more than 2 pounds each of methamphetamine and cocaine, court records show. Other drugs seized from the house included ecstasy, ketamine, Adderall, GBL and psilocybin mushrooms.
Boivin was out of jail in both of those cases when police arrested him a third time in August 2022 for allegedly possessing various drugs for sale, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
While court records show that Boivin resolved his first two cases through plea deals, the status of his third case remains unclear. He has an upcoming court date in the matter later this month.
Boivin’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.
When reached in April, months before the new details emerged in court, Boivin’s attorney said she did not see a connection between her client’s past and “the independent actions of Bob’s killer.”
While Boivin was identified in court as Lee’s alleged drug dealer, their relationship also appears to have been personal—they were friends.
At one point, Lee even bailed Boivin out of jail, according to both Zangeneh and Dittmer.
In an April statement through his lawyer, Boivin described Lee as a “cherished personal friend who not only offered unwavering support but also served as a wise confidant in times of need.”
“I’m eternally grateful for the memories we shared,” Boivin said. “This senseless tragedy should have never happened and I will forever grieve the loss of my dear friend.”