Tyrese Haspil, the suspected killer of Fahim Saleh, the founder of Gokada, the Nigerian motorcycle ride-hailing company, has been found guilty of murder.

Prosecutors said Haspil, 25, killed Saleh, to prevent him from finding out about Haspil’s embezzled of about $400,000 from the venture capitalist. The according to several reports was used to fund his lavish lifestyle he fronted for his girlfriend. Haspil feared that if forced to pay back the stolen funds, he wouldn’t have the capacity to fund the expensive lifestyle.

“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. “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 became Saleh’s assistant in May 2018, where he was tasked with a variety of responsibilities including handling Saleh’s finances – which is how he gained access to Saleh’s financial records, according to the DA’s office release.

That fall, Haspil began stealing from Saleh’s companies using two separate schemes, the DA’s office stated. Haspil created several financial accounts, including a PayPal account, to funnel funds into the accounts while also creating fake statements and mimicking transactions that would go undetected by his boss, according to the release.

Haspil resigned in May 2019, but continued to steal money, the release said.

In January 2020, after one of the frauds was found and traced to Haspil, Saleh confronted his former mentee for stealing $35,000 from his company and proposed a settlement to pay back the debt and avoid criminal prosecution, according to the release.

Haspil agreed to pay back Saleh over an agreed-upon two-year period but did so using the stolen money from the PayPal financial scheme, causing him to embezzle nearly $400,000, according to the DA’s office.

Fearing Saleh would learn of his continued embezzlement, Haspil then decided to plot Saleh’s murder – believing that killing his former boss would prevent Saleh from testifying against him, according to the release.

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