NYC mom living in ‘hell’ fighting prosecutors over fake gun charges


A Queens mom has been locked in a two-year legal battle over a cache of guns found in her home — even though most of the weapons are fake.

Elizaveta Zlatkis was charged with felony possession of 22 guns in December 2019, but many of the firearms are just props her then-husband supplied to rappers for music videos, she recently told The Post.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office eventually dropped the felony counts but Zlatkis remains charged with several misdemeanors — and prosecutors are refusing to let the case go.

“This has been hell for two years for me and my children,” the 33-year-old mom said this week. “They publicly humiliated me, and now they refuse to admit that they were wrong.”

“They are trying to save face and extend this case past three years so I can’t sue them,” she claimed. “They want me to take a plea [deal], but I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Joe Murray, Zlatkis’ lawyer, said prosecutors even misplaced the case file when he showed up in court Monday seeking to have the case dismissed.

“This is not prosecution,” Murray railed. “It is a persecution of a single mother with no record who wasn’t even mentioned in the search warrant.”

The precinct shared a Tweet at the time of the initial raid. Most of the guns pictured were actually replicas or air rifles.
The 112th Precinct shared a tweet at the time of the initial raid, but most of the guns pictured were actually not real weapons.
Twitter / NYPD 112th Precinct

Zlatkis was first busted and charged with first-degree criminal possession of a weapon on Dec. 27, 2019, when cops burst into her home at 6 a.m., according to court records.

Her children, including a toddler, were in the home at the time, the records show.

According to a criminal complaint filed at the time, Zlatkis was charged with felony counts of first- and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, as well as two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

She was also charged with four counts of possessing an imitation pistol and three counts of possession of ammunition for a pistol or revolver, among other charges.

The top felony charge carries a maximum prison term of 25 years.

Though felony charges were eventually dropped, Zlatkis still is facing several misdemeanors.
Though felony charges were eventually dropped, Zlatkis still is facing several misdemeanors.

However, 21 of the weapons recovered by investigators are not real weapons — they consist of toys, replicas, air rifles and starter pistols like those used at track meets, according to law enforcement sources.

Only one of the pistols is real — and that one is inoperable because it’s missing the trigger, hand grip and internal workings, the sources said.

On Dec. 18, 2020, almost one year after her arrest, Queens prosecutors filed a new complaint without the felony charges but still hit Zlatkis with the two endangering charges, the ammunition charge and 11 counts of the imitation pistol charge.

All of the fresh charges are misdemeanors.

Zlatkis has vowed to keep up the fight to clear her name.
Zlatkis said she's been "publicly humiliated" in the case.
Zlatkis said she’s been “publicly humiliated” in the case.

Then this past July — one month after Murray file a motion to dismiss the case — prosecutors filed a third complaint containing the same misdemeanor charges but tweaking some language.

Queens prosecutors repeatedly refused to comment on Zlatkis’ case this week.

A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration said Zlatkis’ file was located on Wednesday and that the case would be back in court on Dec. 15.

Zlatkis vowed to keep fighting to clear her name.

“I’m willing to go to trial,” she said. “But the last thing that they want is the embarrassment when I beat them in court. My 11-year-old son knew the guns weren’t real.”

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