Woman who posed as heiress in New York jailed for fraud

Anna Sorokin (28) defrauded others of about €245,000 while pretending she €60m in assets

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin arrives in court during her sentencing at Manhattan supreme court. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin arrives in court during her sentencing at Manhattan supreme court. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

 

A German woman who posed as a wealthy heiress to scam boutique New York hotels and fashionable friends was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison on Thursday after a jury in state court found her guilty of fraud last month.

Anna Sorokin (28) faced up to 15 years in prison after being convicted of charges stemming from multiple acts of fraud in 2016 and 2017.

Born in Russia before moving to Germany as a teenager with her family, she was better known to her Manhattan friends as Anna Delvey, a would-be socialite dressed in expensive clothes whose credit cards came back declined with unnerving frequency despite her talk of having a trust fund.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office said Sorokin defrauded others of about $275,000 (€245,000) while pretending she had €60 million in assets.

They say she 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. In the end, she managed to get a $100,000 loan, which prosecutors said she never repaid. She used about $30,000 of that to cover her overdue bills at the fashionable 11 Howard hotel, where she was living.

Prosecutors said she also deposited bad cheques amounting to $15,000 in an account with Signature Bank, managing to withdraw $8,200 in cash before the cheques bounced.

She also tricked a friend into covering bills for $62,000 at the end of their six-night luxury trip to Morocco after Sorokin’s card was declined, prosecutors said, but the jury declined to convict Sorokin on this charge.

Disliking standard-issue jail overalls, Sorokin’s lawyers employed a stylist to dress her for her appearances in the Manhattan criminal court, and her daily looks became the subject of a dedicated Instagram account.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that Sorokin was a German citizen who had illegally overstayed in the US. The agency said it would seek to send her back to Germany once her criminal proceedings were over.

The television writers Shonda Rhimes and Lena Dunham are separately working on adapting the Anna Delvey story for the screen, according to news reports. – Reuters