Marina Ray didn’t want her ex-husband to get any more of her money
Marina Kazman was a refugee from the former Soviet Union. She had come to Canada in 1990 with her then-husband and daughter. She became a citizen in 1996 and settled in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Her previous husband had died in 2003, and it was years after the widow met Michael Khavkin. He became a tenant and rented a room in her home. Also, as a Russian immigrant, the two connected on their shared experiences. The two began dating in 2008. Everything seemed to fall in place for the couple. Both were older, Ray divorced himself, and it seemed like a happy relationship. After a year of dating, they married in December 2009.
The relationship soon started to strain. Michael put the couple into substantial credit card debt, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars from failed extravagant business ventures. Once they were married, Michael stopped working and lived off of Marina’s funds.
In 2011 the couple changed their last names to Ray. Marina apparently discovered that Michael had lied about a criminal history around this time. She also claimed she discovered he had issues with substance abuse.
She eventually locked Michael out of the house. In the fall of 2012, they were divorced.
In November 2013, Marina listed her home for sale in order to get out of debt. Michael found out and got a lawyer, filing for spousal support and equity from the sale of the house. A house she had before they got married. She learned that Michael was entitled to half of the profits.
Marina didn’t stand for that. On November 26, 2013, she went to see an acquaintance Victor Sokolovski, and Sokolovski owned a martial arts studio in town. Marina told Victor that she wanted her ex-husband dead. Could he find someone who could do that for her?
She told Victor she didn’t want to share any equity from the house and asked if he knew anyone who could lend her $500,000 on a back-dated note.
A few days later, Victor went to the York Police Department. The police asked if he would help them, and Victor agreed. He then called Marina and asked if she had changed her mind, and she said no, she still wanted Michael dead.
And on December 7, 2013, he “set up” a meeting with Marina and the “hitman,” slash undercover cop.
The conversation between Marina and the officer was recorded; in the video, Marina talked about wanting her ex-husband liquidated and using her hand to mimic a gun. She showed the “hitman” a photo of her ex-husband. They discussed payment and agreed to two thousand up front, with a total of ten thousand by the end. She told the hitman what her husband looked like and where he might be. She handed the officer three hundred to start and made plans to meet on December 9.
At the second meeting, Marina came up with a written agenda. She had ideas for how to kill her ex-husband. She brought up that he did drugs and that it may be a good motive for why he was killed. She told the officer more about what she felt he had done to her. She asked that he tell her ex-husband, “this is for all the women you used and abused and stole from.”
The undercover cop and Marina discussed how to deliver the final payment after the hit was done. They made plans to put it in a twenty-pack of Timbits (Canadian donut holes). Then discussed where to leave it. Behind a fire hydrant, or hand off the donuts to him in person, the final decision was it would be left behind a tree.
They made plans for further untraceable communications and a plan to set a date to leave the money. Then Marina handed over the rest of the $1,700 advance. Before she left, the officer asked if she was sure as she would not have a chance to change her mind.
Marina is arrested shortly after her final conversation with the undercover police officer.
Marina spent one hundred and forty-three days in pre-trial custody a judge issued a guilty verdict. At sixty-four years old, Marina Ray went to prison. The Crown had asked for six to eight years, and the defense had asked for time served. She was sentenced to five years of incarceration, less the eight months for time served.
Marina filed for a stay on her conviction, saying the police entrapped her. The judge found that there was nothing in the evidence that showed entrapment. Marina then filed an appeal stating that she was in extreme emotional distress and that she went along with it in fear for herself and her family. Marina lost this appeal in 2020.
Marina fully believes she isn’t at all responsible for the murder plot based on her mental state at the time and blames York Regional Police for forcing her into plotting the murder.
There is not much known as to what Michael is doing now. There is no further information about what happened to Marina after her appeal. It is assumed she is incarcerated though she should be scheduled for release in 2023.