Bulgarian gets 2 years for stealing dead boy's ID

PORTLAND — A Bulgarian man who lived for 14 years as an American citizen was sentenced to two years and one day Thursday for stealing the identity of an Ohio boy who was kidnapped and killed at age 3.

Doitchin Krastev apologized to his family for "falling off the face of the Earth" and to the family of Jason Robert Evers. Krastev agreed to meet privately with the child's relatives wondering why he wanted a new identity, why he chose their son and how he got the boy's personal information.

Amy Evers, who was 6 years old when her brother was abducted from a YMCA and killed in 1982, told Krastev he caused considerable pain that emerges every time she sees his picture on television or hears someone refer to him using her brother's name.

"You are not Jason Evers," she said, telling U.S. District Judge James A. Redden that her brother would never have made some of the decisions Krastev made using his name.

"You figured no one would care if you took his name and identity because he wasn't here on Earth to defend himself, just like he couldn't defend himself when he was kidnapped," Amy Evers said.

In a deal with the government, Krastev pleaded guilty in November to passport fraud and aggravated identity theft. Krastev will likely be deported after he's released from federal prison, attorneys said. His lawyer, Susan Russell, said he hopes to rebuild a productive life in Bulgaria with his American fiancee.

Krastev, who is about 37 years old, was born to a prominent Bulgarian couple in the former Soviet Union and came to the United States to get an education. He stayed for two years with Michael Horowitz, a former Reagan administration lawyer who befriended Krastev's parents.

Krastev graduated from a prominent Washington high school before dropping out of college, disappearing and eluding attempts by Horowitz and a private investigator to track him down.

Meanwhile, Krastev built a new life, authorities say. In 1996, he got a Social Security number using Evers' birth certificate. In 2002, he got a U.S. passport. He bought property in Oregon and Idaho. He even passed a criminal background check and worked as a sworn investigator for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

It all came apart last year, when a routine check of passport records against death certificates raised a red flag for the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service. Authorities arrested the man who called himself Jason Evers, but he refused to reveal his given name.

It wasn't until an old acquaintance recognized his picture in online newspaper articles that authorities discovered his true identity.

Krastev was arrested last May in Idaho and had owned a home in Caldwell, Idaho.

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