Investigations into Viktoria Nasyrova's history painted a deeply disturbing image that included murder, international arrest warrants — and, of course, poison.
A New York City court sentenced a Russian woman to 21 years in jail for attempted murder, assault, and other charges after poisoning her doppelgänger with a drug-laced cheesecake in an effort to steal her identity. The woman behind the crime, Viktoria Nasyrova, is a Russian national and known con woman who’s been accused of various robberies and even murder.
Nasyrova, 47, resided in Brooklyn, New York, at the time of the crime in 2016. The incident occurred when Nasyrova scheduled an eyelash appointment with Olga Tsvyk, a Ukrainian beautician and friend who bore a striking resemblance to her.
According to court documents, Nasyrova picked up a cheesecake from a local bakery and laced a piece with the Russian tranquilizer phenazepam. During her appointment, Nasyrova ate two pieces of cheesecake before giving a third, tainted piece, to Tsvyk.
Minutes later, Tsvyk became extremely ill.
She was “violently vomiting,” “floating in and out of consciousness,” and became “terrified there was something seriously wrong with her,” Assistant District Attorney Konstantinos Litourgis said, according to a video from the trial.
While Tsvyk lay unconscious, Nasyrova prowled through the home and stole her passport, $4,000, work authorization card, and other belongings. She then staged the scene as a suicide, scattering the remaining phenazepam pills around Tsvyk’s body.
The next day, a friend discovered Tsvyk in her bedroom and rushed her to the hospital. Doctors stated she was “dangerously close to a heart attack,” as reported by the New York Post. Luckily, however, she survived.
After recovering from her ordeal, Tsvyk reported the poisoning to the police, and investigators were able to locate the cheesecake container and extract Nasyrova’s DNA.
With the evidence stacked against her, police arrested Nasyrova in 2017 and held her until her trial this year.
During the trial, Tsvyk relived the horrifying experience and described the effect it had on her.
“I would spend hours crying myself to sleep, thinking about what happened to me,” Tsvyk stated at trial.
Tsvyk told the judge that the experience left her unable to sleep for months, and made her terrified to step out of her home. She constantly lived in fear that Nasyrova “would come back and finish what she started,” the New York Post reported.
“It was an easy thing to gain the trust of another person and then take everything from that person,” Tsvyk continued. “It was easy for her to steal. It was easy for her to kill.”
“God gave me life when Viktoria Nasyrova tried to end my life,” she said.
Alongside these statements, the judge heard stories about Nasyrova’s disturbing background.
In 2014, Nasyrova left Russia after allegedly murdering her neighbor, Alla Alekseenko, and stealing her life savings. Interpol released a red notice for her arrest following this event.
While in the United States, Nasyrova allegedly conned men out of thousands of dollars as a dominatrix and an escort, sometimes using poison to accomplish the task.
Ruben Borukhov, 54, told jurors during Nasyrova’s trial that the accused drugged him on a date. When he regained consciousness, he discovered that he was missing his watch and $2,600 had been charged to his American Express.
With these facts, the court was quick to find Nasyrova guilty of attempted murder and robbery and sentenced her to 21 years. The U.S. has plans to deport her back to Russia after she serves her sentence.
“The circumstances that were shown at trial demonstrate that the defendant had an unthinkable type of premeditation with this,” Litourgis stated, as reported by the New York Post. “She never cared for her victim and she also never had any remorse for what she did.”
Nasyrova’s response to the verdict: “F**k you.”
With a guilty verdict and the reassurance that Nasyrova would not be able to harm anyone else, both victims and attorneys rejoiced.
“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,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “Thankfully, the victim survived the attack on her life and we were able to deliver justice to her.”
After reading about this cheesecake poisoning case, discover the story of Aqua Tofana, the poison used to kill countless abusive husbands in 17th-century Italy. Then, read about Graham Young, the infamous “Teacup Poisoner” who started his killing spree at 14 years old.