NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City woman accused of feeding poisoned cheesecake to her lookalike in a bid to steal the other woman’s identity has been convicted of attempted murder, prosecutors said Thursday.
Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday of trying to kill 35-year-old Olga Tsvyk with cheesecake laced with a powerful sedative and then stealing her passport and other valuables in August 2016, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a news release.
The two women resemble each other, with dark hair and similar skin tones, and Nasyrova hoped to impersonate Tsvyk after killing her, the district attorney said.
“The jury saw through the deception and schemes of the defendant,” Katz said. “She laced a slice of cheesecake with a deadly drug so she could steal her unsuspecting victim’s most valuable possession, her identity. Fortunately, her victim survived and the poison led right back to the culprit.”
According to prosecutors, Nasyrova brought the cheesecake to Tsvyk’s home in the Forest Hills section of Queens on Aug. 28, 2016.
Tsvyk ate the cheesecake, felt sick and lost consciousness, prosecutors said. A friend later found her nearly comatose in bed, and she was taken to a hospital for treatment.
When Tsvyk was discharged from and returned home, she realized that her passport and work authorization card were missing, along with a gold ring and other valuables, prosecutors said. Residue from the cheesecake container was tested and found to contain phenazepam, a potent sedative, and Nasyrova was arrested.
Nasyrova was convicted of charges including attempted murder, assault and unlawful imprisonment. She faces up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced March 21.
“While we are disappointed with the jury’s verdict, we respect it and are exploring our options going forward,” defense attorney Christopher Hoyt said.
Nasyrova has also been accused of fatally drugging a neighbor in her native Russia in 2014. She denied killing the woman, Alla Alekseenko, in a 2017 interview with CBS News.