NYC Woman Sentenced to 21 Years for Attempting to Murder a Friend With Drug-Laced Cheesecake

Wire Service
By Wire Service
April 22, 2023New York
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NYC Woman Sentenced to 21 Years for Attempting to Murder a Friend With Drug-Laced Cheesecake
Pills containing the strong sedative phenazepam were found around Olga Tsvyk's unconscious body in New York. (Courtesy of Queens District Attorney)

A New York woman who was convicted of using a drug-laced cheesecake in an attempt to murder a friend and steal her identity was sentenced to more than two decades in prison Wednesday, officials announced.

Viktoria Nasyrova, 47, was convicted in February of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and petit larceny, according to a news release from the Queens County District Attorney.

The plot took place on August 28, 2016, according to the release. Nasyrova visited the home of Olga Tsvyk—a woman who resembled her with “dark hair, the same complexion and other similar physical traits,” the release said, citing evidence used in the case. Both were also Russian speakers.

Nasyrova brought a slice of cheesecake laced with a highly potent sedative, the release said, adding that after Tsvyk ate the offered dessert, she felt sick and passed out.

Her “last memory was of seeing Nasyrova walking around her room,” according to the DA’s office.

The next day, Tsvyk was found unconscious in bed, surrounded by pills—”as if she had attempted to kill herself,” the release said, and she was taken to a hospital.

Drug testing by federal law enforcement agents later found that the pills and the cheesecake residue contained the sedative phenazepam, according to the DA’s office.

When she got home, Tsvyk also found her passport, work authorization card and other valuables— worth more than $3,000—were missing from her home.

“(Nasyrova) 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,” Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a February statement.

Nasyrova was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Wednesday.

Katz described Nasyrova, a Russian national and a Brooklyn resident, as “a ruthless and calculating con artist” who tried “to murder her way to personal profit and gain” in the news release.

Nasyrova’s attorney, Jose Nieves, told CNN that he has filed a notice of appeal to challenge his client’s conviction and sentence. He described the 21-year sentence as “excessive and inappropriate, given Ms. Nasryrova’s, life circumstances, her mental illness history, family support, and her traumatic experiences while living in the United States.”

He added that since Nasyrova is a Russian national, she will likely be deported after her release from prison. The appeal “will focus legal procedural errors and evidentiary issue that occured during her trial,” he said.

Phenazepam is administered as a prescription drug in Russia but “does not currently have an accepted medical use in the United States,” according to the US Department of Justice. There is an illicit market for the drug, which is sometimes used recreationally, in the US and the United Kingdom, says the DOJ.

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