A New York City woman was sentenced this week to over two decades in prison in the attempted murder and identity theft of a lookalike woman. The weapon: a sedative-laced cheesecake.
Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, of Brooklyn, brought Olga Tsvyk the cheesecake and stole her passport and other personal identity documents in August 2016, prosecutors said.
“A ruthless and calculating con artist is going to prison for a long time for trying to murder her way to personal profit and gain,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Thankfully, the victim survived the attack on her life and we were able to deliver justice to her.”
Nasyrova is also wanted on murder charges in Russia, CBS News reports.
Attempted murder by cheesecake
Prosecutors noted Tsvyk shared features with Nasyrova — both had dark hair and spoke Russian. Here’s what they say happened:
Tsvyk ate the cheesecake, felt unwell and passed out. She was discovered unconscious and with pills scattered around her body as if she had made a suicide attempt the next day by a friend. She was only unconscious and survived after being hospitalized.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials tested the cheesecake residue and found it contained Phenazepam, a type of benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and insomnia in Russia. It is not approved for medical use in the United States and the DEA says it has seen an emergence of illicit use of the drug.
Nasyrova was convicted in February of attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and petit larceny.
Her lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday.
Accused of another killing
Nasyrova was also accused of killing a neighbor, Alla Aleksenko, and stealing her life savings in Russia, where Nasyrova is from, in 2014, and drugging and stealing from others since then, CBS News reported.
Interpol, the global police body, had a notice out for Nasyrova in 2015 after Russian authorities charged her with murder in Aleksenko’s mysterious death and disappearance, but Nasyrova fled the country, CBS reported.
She denied killing anybody in a 2017 interview with CBS.