September 27, 2022
Anna Sorokin seen being led out of a court room in hand cuffs.

Anna Sorokin: Rise, fall and ascension of fake German heiress

The notorious case of Anna Sorokin has been brought back into the limelight thanks to “Inventing Anna,” a nine-part Netflix series developed by Shonda Rhimes.

Anna Sorokin, 31, created an alternate identity as a wealthy German heiress under the alias Anna Delvey. For several years in the 2010s, Anna Sorokin lived a life of luxury, persuading Manhattan’s elites to fund her travel and dining by any means necessary. 

Anna Sorokin was arrested in 2017 after defrauding banks and failing to pay massive hotel bills in Manhattan. She was found guilty on eight charges in 2019 and sentenced to 4-12 years in prison. 

Todd Spodek, Anna Sorokin’s former defense attorney, stated that Anna did nothing illegal and instead took advantage of a broken system that was readily swayed by glamor and riches.

“Anna had every intention of doing things the right way,” Todd Spodek said during the trial of Anna Sorkin. “Everyone creates the version of themselves that they want the world to see… Everyone lies when it’s convenient to them…and Anna did the same thing. She couldn’t be 100 percent honest because no one would listen to her.” Anna Sorokin’s lawyer said during the 2019 trial.

Anna Sorokin was freed in February 2021 after doing time in five different prisons.

Upon release, she was promptly detained by immigration authorities, and again six weeks later for overstaying her visa. She has spent the past year in ICE custody, doing all that she can to resist deportation to Germany. 

Netflix reportedly paid Anna Sorokin $320,000 for the rights to her life story, a seemingly generous sum to bestow upon a convicted criminal. Almost immediately, the New York state attorney general’s office enacted New York Executive Law Section 632a to freeze the sum of money given to Anna Sorokin. 

The law, known as the “Son of Sam” law, forbids convicted criminals from profiting off of their misdeeds through lucrative book and film deals. State legislators put the law in effect in 1977 subsequent to David Berkowits, a serial murderer, getting offered money for a tell-all about his atrocious acts of murder. 

However, Anna Sorokin was permitted to use $199,000 of the Netflix money to pay back banks, including $70,000 to Citibank, and another $24,000 was put toward state fines.

In an interview with The New York Times, Anna Sorokin was quoted as saying, “There is definitely a lot more to my story that I’d like to share. With that in mind, I’m working on multiple projects. I’m working on a documentary project with Bunim Murray Productions in Los Angeles. I’m also working on a book about my time in jail and working on a podcast, as well.”

Sorokin nurtured the life she thought she deserved by convincing others of her false identity. She used well-intentioned people to help her ascend the ladder of fame and fortune. 

“I’m not trying to encourage people to commit crimes. I’m just trying to shed light on how I made the best out of my situation, without trying to glorify it. This is what I’m creating out of that story.” Anna Sorokin said. 

Subsequent to an emotional trial and four years in prison, Anna Sorokin finally received the accolades she originally sought, just not in the fashion she initially desired.

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