Who is Anna Sorokin, the subject of the new Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna’?

The woman who defrauded New York businesses and socialites of $275,000 was first sentenced to prison and is currently serving time in an illegal immigration center

The woman who defrauded New York businesses and socialites of $275,000 was first sentenced to prison and is currently serving time in an illegal immigration center

Anna Sorokin, a Russian-born woman from Germany who was convicted in New York in 2019 of stealing more than $200,000, has sued US federal immigration authorities for failing to provide her a Covid-19 booster shot while being held in an immigration facility. and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Upper New York City.

In February 2021, after being paroled from Rikers Island prison in the robbery case, she was quickly arrested by ICE, as the US government accused her of overstaying. a visa and argued that she should be deported to Germany.

Sorokin, and three others facing deportation at the ICE facility, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. on March 1, claiming that ICE violated the human rights of medically vulnerable people held at the facility. ignoring their requests for a recall of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Who is Anna Sorokin and what has she been accused of?

Anna Sorokin posed as a German heiress named Anna Delvy between 2015 and 2017 in Manhattan, New York. Claiming to have a family fortune of $67 million, she defrauded socialites, financial institutions and city hotels for a total of $275,000.

She wore designer clothes, hopped from one luxury hotel to another tipping staff members $100, rented a private jet and wanted to open an art gallery, which she said would be covered by family money.

Sorokin, however, had no such family fortune. She was born in Russia and moved to Germany with her family as a teenager. His father first worked as a driver for a trucking company in Russia that went bankrupt, after which he started a heating and cooling business in Germany. She first moved to Paris to intern for the European art and culture magazine Mauve and moved to New York in 2014, with a radiant interest in art and fashion. Earning just around $400 a month in her early years in New York, she would be supported by her father’s monthly earnings.

Where is Anna Sorkin now?

She is now the subject of the Netflix drama series “Inventing Anna”, produced by American television producer Shonda Rhimes.

In May 2019, a Manhattan jury convicted Ms. Sorokin of second-degree robbery, one count of attempted first-degree robbery and theft of services. She was sentenced to four to twelve years in prison by the New York State Supreme Court.

The jury, however, did not convict her of one of the biggest charges she faced – attempting to secure a $22 million loan from a bank by showing false wealth. She was also not found guilty of stealing more than $60,000 from a friend of hers, who had to pay for a trip they both took to Marrakech in Morocco.

After Sorokin’s first arrest, which took place in 2017, the district attorney in his case, Catherine McCaw, said: “His overall plan was to pretend to be a wealthy German heiress with approximately $60 million in funds. held abroad. She was born in Russia and doesn’t have a penny to her name as far as we can determine.

Her attorney, Todd Spodek, on the other hand, had told the court: “Fake it until you make it…Anna had to live with it.

How did Anna Sorokin do it?

The scam was carried out with a combination of bogus wire transfers and bank statements, multiple credit cards, NSF checks deposited at banks, and convincing companies not to accept advance payments. She also created fake contact numbers and email addresses to impersonate her own financial adviser and family accountant.

While shooting for Purple magazine in Paris, Ms. Sorokin began appearing regularly at art exhibitions, festivals and parties in Paris and throughout Europe, which was when she began impersonating Anna Delvey, who, according to her knowledge, had a vague European accent. and claimed to have family money in Germany. She also told people that she had been to parties abroad in private jets.

When she moved to New York in 2014, she became a frequent face of Manhattan’s social scene and lived a nomadic life, staying for days in several boutique hotels in New York City.

She came with the motive of fulfilling a dream: to open a members-only art club in New York City under the name Anna Delvy Foundation or ADF, which would house a nightclub, bar, and art exhibit. In 2015, she befriended architect Gabriel Calatrava, convincing him to help design her club. With his help, she also found a real estate company to secure a venue for said club. But whenever discussions about paying Calatrava or the venue owner arose, Sorokin would talk about wire transfers coming in from Germany, which never showed up.

To pay for the space and design the club, she even wanted to take out a loan of nearly $25 million. She approached two financial institutions for the same Los Angeles-based National Bank and Fortress Investment Group. In discussions with City National, the bank struggled to establish the source of his wealth and refused to grant him the $22 million loan. She had told the bank that she had assets worth $60 million in UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, but when the City National banker asked for bank statements from UBS as proof, Sorokin said. sent a series of vague projection figures to the banker.

Later, she approached Fortress Investment Group for a $25-35 million loan. After the bank asked for $100,000 to start the process, she was able to convince a City National Bank banker to give her a line of credit worth $100,000, promising to return it by wire transfer from Europe. This money was then transferred to Fortress, who began their due diligence process to extend the loan, but that process also involved verifying the source of their wealth. When a Fortress executive insisted he travel to Switzerland to meet with his banker at UBS, Sorokin withdrew the loan application midway through the process.

Fortress then wired her the remaining $55,000, which instead of paying it back to City National Bank, she transferred to a personal account at another bank, using most of it for a shopping spree. a month and stays in luxury hotels. In the same personal account, she also deposited NSF checks worth $160,000 and managed to withdraw over $80,000 before said checks could bounce.

In addition to attempts to obtain loans, Sorokin also defrauded three hotels in New York. She stayed for long periods in hotels and kept high marks in their restaurants. The hotels, which made the mistake of not registering a credit card in his name, were promised bank transfers which they never received.

When the hotels threatened to lock him out of his room for non-payment of dues, they received wire transfer slips from several banks, which they later realized were fake. The New York hotels she stayed at included 11 Howard, the Beekan and the W. She only managed to repay one of the three hotels – 11 Howard, a sum of $11,000, from the credit she she had received from the City National Bank.

In 2016, Sorokin flew to Omaha from New York to attend a conference at Berkshire Hathway, the company owned by US investor Warren Buffet. To get to the conference with a friend of hers, she chartered a private jet, convincing the private jet operating company to let her fly on credit, again, with the lure of holding huge assets. abroad.

As for the charge, she was not found guilty – a $60,000 trip to Morocco that she did not pay for. Sorokin had befriended Rachel Williams, who at the time was a photo editor for Vanity Fair magazine. In 2017, Sorokin took Ms Williams on a trip to the city of Marrakech, on the pretext that all expenses would be covered by the premiere. On a six-day trip that cost $62,000, Ms Sorokin cited a problem with her credit card as she couldn’t pay any of the bills. They eventually had to be covered by Ms Williams. A promise of a future bank transfer was also made to Ms Williams, who only received $5,000 after months of persuasion.

How was the fraud discovered?

In July 2017, Ms Sorokin was arrested for failing to pay thousands of dollars for stays at Beekman and The W hotels, and for failing to pay a $200 bill at a restaurant. After being released a few months later, she was arrested again in October.

In 2018, Rachel Willams, whom Mrs Sorokin did not reimburse for the trip to Morocco, published a first-person account in the vanity lounge magazine, revealing her experience of being allegedly defrauded by Ms Sorokin. This got other socialites in town talking about their experiences.

Later in 2018, another story in the new York The magazine blew the lid on the fake German heiress by interviewing several people who met Sorokin, including friends, business associates, hotel staff and bankers.

After spending nearly a year and a half in Rikers Island prison, his trial began in 2019, before he was offered a plea deal prescribing a sentence of three to nine years. She refused the deal, believing the sentence to be very long, only to be sentenced to a four to twelve year term by the court.

About Victoria Rothstein

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