July 22, 2024

A personal assistant was convicted on Monday (Tuesday AEST) of killing and dismembering his former boss after stealing an estimated $US400,000 ($600,000) from him, Manhattan’s district attorney said.

A jury found Tyrese Haspil, 25, guilty in the 2020 death of Fahim Saleh, 33, whose beheaded, armless body was found by a cousin who had gone to his luxury Manhattan, USA condo to check on him.

Haspil was arrested days later in a posh Airbnb that authorities say he had rented with stolen money for his girlfriend’s birthday party.

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Haspil handled finances and personal matters for Saleh, whose ventures included Gokada, a ride-hailing motorcycle service in Africa.

Within months of being hired in 2018, investigators said Haspil began funnelling money into bogus accounts using two separate schemes, prosecutors said.

He resigned after a year but continued to embezzle funds, even after Saleh confronted him about one of the schemes in January 2020 and let Haspil repay $US35,000 ($52,000) over two years to avoid criminal prosecution.

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Afraid Saleh would discover the continuing theft, Haspil hatched a detailed murder plot, first posing as a potential buyer for a vacant apartment across the street from Saleh’s residence so that he could install a camera to surveil Saleh’s building, prosecutors said.

When Saleh returned home from a run on the morning of July 13, 2020, Haspil followed him into the elevator to his seventh-floor apartment, shocked him with a Taser and stabbed him to death, prosecutors said.

He returned the next day to dismember the body with an electric saw, which eventually died, authorities said.

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It was while Haspil was out buying a battery charger that the victim’s cousin arrived and discovered the body, authorities said.

“Tyrese Haspil tragically cut Mr. Saleh’s life short – a man who came from a close-knit immigrant family and followed his passions to become a successful entrepreneur,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

“I hope the accountability delivered by today’s verdict can provide a measure of comfort to Mr. Saleh’s loved ones as they continue to mourn his loss.”

Haspil’s sentencing on murder and other counts is scheduled for September.

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