Plea deal appears imminent in Ore. identity case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A federal court document suggests a plea bargain is imminent in the case of a Bulgarian man who assumed the identity of a slain boy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Caldwell told The Associated Press on Friday that documents like the prosecutor's complaint against Doitchin Krastev, which details charges of identity theft and making false statements to the government, are often filed before a plea bargain is reached.

The Oregonian newspaper reported the document, called an information, was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. Authorities say Krastev, a former Oregon Liquor Control Commission inspector, stole the identity of Jason Robert Evers, who was kidnapped and killed in Cincinnati in 1982 at age 3.

Investigators have said Krastev was 17 and living in Colorado when he took the name in 1996. The case grew out of a routine check of a passport application against death records by a division of the U.S. State Department.

As Evers, Krastev was hired by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission as an investigator in 2002, and went through an Oregon State Police background check that turned up nothing to stop him from being hired.

He rose to become a regional manager in Bend before asking to be reassigned as an investigator to the office in Nyssa, close to Idaho, where he owned a home in the town of Caldwell.

The son of respected scientific scholars in Bulgaria, Krastev attended high school and college in the United States, living with a former Reagan administration lawyer and his physician wife outside Washington, D.C. He dropped out of college and disappeared about 15 years ago.

Count one charges Krastev with knowingly making false statements on his passport application on Oct. 23, 2002, by using the name, social security number and date of birth of Jason Robert Evers. Count two charges him with aggravated identity theft on March 10, 2008, for using the boy's social security number in an application for the job of regional manager with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Defense attorney Susan Russell did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.