A Russian immigrant was convicted on Thursday of hatching a gruesome identity-theft scheme that resulted in the mysterious disappearance of a translator from Brooklyn and the death of a man whose body parts turned up in a New Jersey nature preserve.

A jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before finding the immigrant, Dmitriy Yakovlev, guilty of conspiracy, bank fraud, using stolen credit cards and other charges. There was no specific murder charge, but prosecutors alleged that he killed both victims in a plot to pillage their bank accounts and credit lines.

Only hours after the translator, Irina Malezhik, vanished in 2007, Mr. Yakovlev’s wife, Julia, was on the phone with credit card companies pretending to be her “in an all-out effort to take Irina’s money,” the prosecutor, Amanda Hector, said in closing arguments.

Yakovlev, 42, and his wife Julia, 36, were charged last year with forging translator Irina Malezhik's signature on checks and obtaining a credit card in her name after she vanished.

She was last seen leaving her apartment in Manhattan Beach on Oct. 15, 2007.

Dmitry Yakovlev told the feds he knew Malezhik because she was the translator on a court case he was involved in, and that she tutored him in English. He claimed he loaned her $20,000 for "furniture" and used her credit cards as a form of repayment.

"The defendant, for lack of a better way of putting it, is a serial killer," Brooklyn Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta said of Dmitriy Yakovlev...

Malezhik remains missing, but her underwear was recovered in the basement of Yakovlev's home in Sea Gate.
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