Born an ocean apart, slain tech CEO Fahim Saleh and his accused killer, Tyrese Haspil, shared from a young age a drive to succeed, an enduring impulse that eventually drew both to each other.
One realized his dreams. The other became his personal assistant and, prosecutors say, his murderer.
Haspil, a Long Island native and self-described foster kid-turned-“entrepreneur,” knew what he wanted early on: success.
In high school in Valley Stream, NY, he won first place at the Future Business Leaders of America New York State Leadership Convention in Rochester, in Web design.
Friends and relatives have told The Post he was close-lipped about growing up in foster care.
Saleh, the CEO of the Nigerian ride-hailing motorcycle app Gokada, meanwhile, was born to a middle class Bengali family in Saudi Arabia, but eventually moved to Rochester, NY.
He “moved quite a bit before settling in Rochester,” according to his Gokada bio, developing an “interest in computers” as an eighth-grader in Poughkeepsie.
He created WizTeen, a teen social-media network that allowed instant messenger customization, while attending John Jay HS in Poughkeepsie, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. By the time he was 20, the business pulled in six figures, the paper reported.
Pals recalled his kind heart and good nature — ultimately his downfall.
“He was always funny and joyous,” one friend wrote on Reddit. “Time and distance worked as they normally do as we went on different life adventures, but whenever I ran into him in NYC it was like no time had passed in our friendship.”
Saleh, 33, hired Haspil, 21, to handle his finances and personal matters, Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told reporters after the Haspil’s arrest Friday.
But Saleh had recently fired Haspil, who lived in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park South neighborhood, after he allegedly embezzled some $90,000 from his boss, according to prosecutors and law-enforcement sources.
Rather than turn Haspil over to the police, Saleh worked out a repayment plan with him. Investigators believe Haspil murdered Saleh rather than honor the deal.
“The headlines talk about a crime we still cannot fathom,” Saleh’s family said. “Fahim is more than what you are reading. He is so much more.
“His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind.”
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