ID theft charges superceded by murder indictment

A seventeen-count superseding indictment was returned yesterday in Brooklyn federal court charging Dmitriy Yakovlev and his wife, Julia Yakovlev, with identity theft, bank fraud, credit card fraud, and effecting fraudulent transactions as a result of their illegal use of the identities of three persons between 2003 and 2007. The defendant Dmitriy Yakovlev is further charged with murdering two of the identity theft victims. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser.

The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George Venizelos, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

As alleged in the superseding indictment and in previous court filings, the defendants used the identity of Irina Malezhik, a Russian language translator and Brooklyn resident, to obtain funds and goods immediately following her disappearance in October 2007. In the superseding indictment, Dmitiry Yakovlev is charged with (1) murdering Malezhik in connection with stealing her identity; (2) exploiting the identities of two Brooklyn men, Michael Klein and Viktor Alekseyev, to commit fraud immediately following their disappearances in November 2003 and December 2005, respectively; and (3) murdering Viktor Alekseyev in connection with the theft of Alekseyev’s identity. Alekseyev’s remains were found in New Jersey in January 2006. Klein has not been seen since November 2003.

“Today’s indictment makes clear that law enforcement will not rest until those who would victimize members of our community are brought to justice,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. Mr. Campbell expressed his grateful appreciation to the FBI and the NYPD, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation, and he thanked the United States Department of Labor, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in Essex County, New Jersey for their assistance.

FBI Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge Venizelos stated, “Identity theft can result in financial harm for its victims, but what Dmitriy Yakovlev now stands accused of can never be rectified. While there’s no remedy at law for Irina Malezhik or Viktor Alekseyev, it doesn’t mean there is no justice. Justice is served by holding their murderer responsible.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “Identity theft victims usually lose their money. In this case they allegedly lost their lives too. That’s why this investigation and prosecution takes on special meaning for all those involved in bringing it to a successful conclusion.”

Each count of conviction for bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy carries a statutory maximum term of 30 years’ imprisonment, and 20 years for convictions for crimes of violence in connection with identity theft.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Geddes, James Gatta, and Amanda Hector.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

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