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United States v. Zhyltsou

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
769 F.3d 125 (2d Cir. 2014)


Alexander Zhyltsou (defendant) was charged with forging a birth certificate for Vladyslav Timku. Timku, who had previously been convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identity theft, testified that Zhyltsou had created the fake birth certificate and sent it to Timku from Zhyltsou’s email address, azmadeuz@gmail.com (Gmail address). The prosecution introduced a copy of the email, to which the forged birth certificate was attached, into evidence. Over Zhyltsou’s objection, the prosecution also introduced a printout of a webpage from VK.com, the Russian version of Facebook. The printout was of a VK.com profile containing Zhyltsou’s picture and information. The prosecution introduced the printout as Zhyltsou’s VK.com profile and claimed that the profile was created by Zhyltsou. The printout listed Zhyltsou’s address on Skype as “Azmadeuz,” which the prosecution connected to the Gmail address. The prosecution acknowledged that it did not know whether VK.com required any kind of identity verification prior to the creation of a profile. There was no other evidence that Zhyltsou had created a VK.com profile page. Zhyltsou was convicted, and he appealed.

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