A Russian Woman Hoped To Avoid A Murder Rap. So She Fed A Lookalike New Yorker Poisoned Cheesecake To Steal Her Identity.

nasyrova cheesecake

Courtesy Mega; Kalisha Ocheni/Unsplash

Apr. 20 2023, Published 10:31 a.m. ET

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A New York City woman will spend 21 years in prison for attempting to murder a lookalike woman with poisoned cheesecake.

Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, was sentenced April 19 for adding a powerful sedative to the dessert, then giving it to Olga Tsvyk in August 2016.

Prosecutors say the motive was identity theft. Because the women looked so much alike, Nasyrova hoped to assume Tsvyk's name to escape a 2014 murder charge in her native Russia.

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Federal agents determined Nasyrova poisoned the cheesecake with Phenazepam, a drug developed during the days of the old Soviet Union.

A statement from Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Tsvyk, who was 35 at the time, was “found unconscious in her bed, with pills scattered around her body.” The pills turned out to be Phenazepam as well.

While Tsvyk survived eating the cheesecake, NBC News reported she lost her Ukrainian passport and about $4,000. Katz said a gold ring was stolen as well.

New York City

Nasyrova was found guilty in February of second degree attempted murder, first degree attempted assault, second degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.

“A ruthless and calculating con artist is going to prison for a long time,” Katz said Wednesday.

But defense attorney Jose Nieves says he plans to appeal Nasyrova's conviction. He said the jury was barred from hearing some evidence that could have changed the verdict.


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