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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 14, 2023

There’s no evidence Cash App founder Bob Lee was murdered by the federal government

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  • A suspect was arrested April 13 in the fatal stabbing of Cash App founder Bob Lee. We found no evidence that his death has anything to do with FedNow.

On April 4, Bob Lee, the founder of the mobile payment service Cash App, was fatally stabbed in San Francisco. The killing drew some speculation that Lee’s death was a casualty of lawlessness in the California city. Others have claimed that he was murdered to advance FedNow, a forthcoming instant payment infrastructure from the Federal Reserve. 

"Cash App founder Bob Lee stabbed … and died yesterday," one Instagram post said. "U.S. Fed. Reserve is launching its own ‘Cash App’ called ‘FedNow.’"

"So we gonna pretend like this is a random coincidence?" the post says. 

"If the gov want you gone, they’ll get you gone," someone commented.

This post was deleted while we were fact-checking it. But we found another like it. They were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The FedNow Service will let businesses and individuals send and receive instant payments through participating financial institutions "in real time, around the clock, every day of the year," according to the Federal Reserve. It was first announced in August 2019. It is not a central bank digital currency, and it is not replacing paper currency. Rather, it’s a payment service akin to other Federal Reserve payment services, such as Fedwire and FedACH.

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The post offers no evidence for its claim that Lee’s death was orchestrated in conjunction with the FedNow launch.

On April 13, Mission Local first reported that a suspect was arrested in Lee’s death. 

Public records show Nima Momeni was booked in a San Francisco county jail April 13 on a murder charge. Momeni previously described himself as an information technology consultant and entrepreneur, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said Momeni and Lee knew each other but he did not disclose a possible motive, according to The Associated Press.

We found no connection between Momeni and FedNow, much less that he killed Lee as part of a conspiracy or on the federal government’s behalf. 

This is still a developing story. If new information comes to light that changes our conclusions in this fact-check, we’ll revisit it. For now, it’s False.

CORRECTION: This story was updated shortly after publication to clarify how FedNow would operate.

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There’s no evidence Cash App founder Bob Lee was murdered by the federal government

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