Gelareh Bagherzadeh was murdered more than two years ago. Now, Ali Irsan, the man who investigators believe killed her is in federal custody. So are his wife and daughter and Friday afternoon, they appeared in court.
Ali Irsan, however, did not appear. Investigators say he is still being treated for an undisclosed medical condition which started Thursday during his arrest. But his wife and daughter were there and told a judge they understand the charges against them.
According to court documents, Ali Irsan, his wife, Shmou Alrawbdeh and his daughter, Nadia Irsan, took part in a sophisticated scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits; Social Secruity, insurance, credit card, even food stamp fraud.
In one account in Nadia's name, they say over $255,000 was deposited between 2006 and 2012. This all came to light in 2011, when another of Ali's Daughter's, Nesreen, told investigators the family had been living at a property on Irwin Keel Lane in Montgomery County, the same location agents raided Thursday.
Naseem told them Ali set up several address and mailboxes there and was using each with the names of his family members to commit this fraud.
Authorities say Naseem claimed there was a lot of cash stashed throughout the property in hidden compartments and at at least two other properties. She also told them of guns, lots of weapons and a silencer.
As federal investigators looked into these allegations, they realized only now that Ali was a suspect in two Harris County homicides: both in 2012, one where his daughter, Nesreen's husband, Coty Beavers, was murdered, found him shot to death inside his apartment.
In another, her friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, was killed in her car outside her Galleria-area condo.
Her case baffled detectives for more than two years. Investigators won't say what has linked Irsan to the case, but he has now been charged in her murder. Irsan's attorney balks at the at the allegations.
"It's my firm belief that they're baseless and we look forward to fighting the allegations in open court," said Irsan's attorney, John T. Floyd.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson released a statement reading, in part, "We never forgot about this case. We will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners to make sure justice prevails."
Investigators still have not said what the motive was behind Bagherzadeh's murder. A judge set a detention hearing for the women next Thursday, where bond will be set.