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From Jetsetter to Inmate: Fake Heiress Anna Sorokin Faces Prison Sentence

CC0 / / A chainlink prison outside a jail
A chainlink prison outside a jail - Sputnik International
In April a New York jury convicted extravagant socialite and con artist Anna Sorokin, who had led a lavish lifestyle for years, swindling banks, hotels and friends who believed she was a wealthy German heiress.

Today Anna Sorokin, who passed herself off for years as ‘Anna Delvey’, a German heiress worth $60m, has been sentenced in New York and faces up to 15 years in prison. She also faces deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa.

The Manhattan jury found 28-year old Anna Sorokin guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a month-long media-hounded trial.

Her defence attorney, Todd Spodek, was pleased Sorokin had been acquitted of one of the most serious charges in the indictment: attempting to steal more than $1 million from City National Bank.

Under the fake name of Anna Delvey, Sorokin had conned friends and financial institutions into believing she was worth a fortune of about $67 million (60 million euros) overseas.

She claimed her father was either a diplomat or an oil baron, and was amazingly resourceful at having others pay her way.

She was also accused of forging financial records in an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club she wanted to build.

As part of her ingenious deception, Sorokin not only forged herself a fake identity, but outfitted an entire team of 'imaginary' assistants.

For example, there was an accountant who didn't exist whom Sorokin blamed for delays in wire transfers.

Many bought into the ruse that she was the German heiress she claimed to be because of her jetsetter lifestyle, expensive designer clothing and circle of celebrity friends.

Sorokin was born in Russia in 1991 and moved to Germany in 2007 when she was 16 with her younger brother and parents.

After moving to London to attend Central Saint Martins fashion school, Sorokin returned to Berlin, where she interned in the fashion department of a public relations firm.

She subsequently relocated to Paris, landing an internship at the French fashion magazine Purple. It's believed to be around this time that she changed her name from Sorokin to Delvey.

Acquaintances say Sorokin had spent several years playing the part of art-loving German heiress across the world.

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Sorokin gave acquaintances varying accounts of where her wealth supposedly came from, while in reality not having a cent to her name, according to prosecutors.

People who knew her never thought twice when she asked them to put taxi fares and plane tickets on their credit cards, as she would convincingly blame her woes on issues with moving her assets across from Europe.

Sorokin was arrested in October 2017 for stealing $275,000 through multiple scams between November 2016 and August 2017.

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Needless to say, almost as quickly as Sorokin was arrested, screenwriters have been clamoring to secure the rights to her story, with two productions in the works: a Netflix show and an HBO series.

Sorokin, who has been jailed at Rikers since her arrest, is said to be thrilled, according to friends.

​Sorokin’s trial also turned into something of a catwalk of designer clothing, as she was reprimanded by the judge multiple times for delaying proceedings because she wasn't happy with her outfit choices.

​Her defence attorney Todd Spodek compared her at one point to Frank Sinatra, saying "they both created their own opportunities" in New York.

"There's a little bit of Anna in all of us," Spodek said. "This is the life she chose to live."

He added that Sorokin was "enabled every step of the way by a system that favours people with money".

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