Search for body in Brooklyn comes up empty

August 17, 2009 9:53:01 PM PDT
Police and FBI agents dug up the backyard of a home in a gated community in Brooklyn Monday, looking for the body of a missing court translator.Irina Malezhik, 47, was last seen on surveillance video leaving her Brighton Beach building nearly two years ago.

Investigators said she was the perfect mark. She had no friends. She had no family. She had a fair amount of money saved up from a lifetime of hard work.

They know someone stole her money. They know someone murdered her. They are trying to figure out if the same people committed both crimes.

She was a federal court translator who worked a number of Russian mob trials. In October 2007, she disappeared.

On Monday, investigators focused their attention on a house located on Surf Avenue in Seagate. It is owned by Dmitriy and Julia Yakovlev. The couple is charged with stealing Malezhik's identity.

An afternoon of digging yielded nothing.

The Yakovlevs allegedly cashed four checks in Malezhik's name, totaling $6,475, on the day she disappeared. According to a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court, the couple used Malezhik's credit card to make $37,000 in cash withdrawals and purchases over the next two days. They are also accused of depositing forged checks.

CLICK HERE to read the criminal complaint against the Yakovlevs.

Dmitriy Yakovlev remains behind bars. Julia Yakovlev is free on $500,000 bail. They are only charged with the theft of her money and her identity.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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