“I know she is a trendsetter and an influencer,” Judge Diane Kiesel of New York state Supreme Court stated on Thursday in connection with the sentencing of Anna Sorokin. “So, I think the message should be to the defendant and many of her fans out there that this has consequences.” Russian-born, German-raised Sorokin, who was largely better known as Anna Delvey, has commanded national headlines for her scheme of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars – and attempting to get her hands on millions more – under the guise of being a high-flying heiress with a fortune of more than $67 million.
As Reuters reported on Thursday, “Prosecutors say Sorokin used forged bank statements to seek a loan of $22 million from a bank to fund a private arts club she wanted to open in Manhattan. She managed to get a $100,000 loan, which prosecutors said she never repaid.” In reality, the 28-year old used a fair share of that loan to cover her overdue bills at the fashionable 11 Howard hotel, where she lived when she was not jet-setting between Ibiza, Venice, Austria, Berlin, Morocco, Croatia, and Paris – oft on others’ dimes and their private planes, promising to pay them back without ever doing so.
Her “daily looks,” per Reuters – which included pricey garments and accessories from Gucci, Saint Laurent, Celine and Vetements – “became the subject of a dedicated Instagram account with thousands of followers,” as did her attendance at fashion industry parties and art crowd gatherings in furtherance of her effort to pose as a well-connected art collector and the force behind the fictional “Anna Delvey Foundation.”
While Sorokin – who had enrolled in (and subsequently dropped out of) Central Saint Martins college in London before concocting her fraudulent identity and moving to New York – may have been able to win over the likes of luxury hotels, restaurants, banks, and fashion and art industry friends, the court has been far less easy to fool. The faux rich girl first became entangled with the law in July 2017 after failing to pay for extended stays at The Beekman and the W Downtown, and skipping out on a lunch bill at the Le Parker Meridien.
She was arrested again four months later when law enforcement uncovered the scale of her grifting. In addition to scamming a New York bank of $100,000 loan, Sorokin “deposited bad checks amounting to $15,000 in an account with Signature Bank, managing to withdraw $8,200 in cash before the checks bounced, and used fake wire transfer receipts to trick victims.”
Following a month-long trial, for which Sorokin managed to nab “celebrity stylist Anastasia Walker, who dress[ed] her in pieces from Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Victoria Beckham,” according to the NY Post, Sorokin was convicted on eight counts of fraud, attempted grand larceny, theft of services and larceny in the second degree.
Judge Kiesel subsequently sentenced Sorokin – who has already spent more than 500 days in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison – to between 4 and 12 years in prison. The judge also ordered Sorokin to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution and a $24,000 fine. After she completes her prison term, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it will seek to send Sorokin back to Germany, as she has “illegally overstayed [the duration of her visa] in the United States.”
In court on Thursday, Judge Kiesel told the court that she was “stunned by the depths of the defendant’s deception, her labyrinth of lies that kept her con afloat,” and gave Sorokin almost the maximum prison sentence. Sorokin, who was caught on tape laughing throughout parts of the prosecution’s testimony, later apologized “for the mistakes I made.”
Just a day later, Sorokin walked back on her remorse, telling the New York Times in an interview at Rikers Island that she would “probably” do it all again. “The thing is, I’m not sorry,” she said on Friday. “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything.”
She also informed the paper that she will keep busy during her prison sentence by working on a memoir. “I guess I’m fortunate enough to go to real prison,” she said. “I’ll have more material.”