Anna Sorokin, Fake German heiress, jailed for scamming New York's richest

Anna Sorokin, fake heiress found guilty of fraud, receives $320,000 from Netflix for rights to her story

Sorokin has already used most of the money to pay back financial institutions she scammed 

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Friday 29 January 2021 23:54
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Netflix has paid Anna Sorokin, the woman who pretended to be a German heiress called Anna Delvey, a sum of $320,000 for the rights to adapt her story to a TV series.

Sorokin first gained national attention in 2018 when New York Magazine published a story about how the faux socialite pretended to have a $60m trust fund to scam banks, hotels, wealthy friends, and financial institutions, all the while hotel-hopping through New York City with her fake identity.

Sorokin is now using $199,000 from her Netflix funds to pay restitution to the banks she scammed, plus $24,000 in state fines, reports Insider.

According to Insider, New York State invoked its “Son of Sam” law, which is meant to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes, by freezing Sorokin's funds in 2019. An Albany judge, however, ordered the state's Office of Victim Services to unfreeze Sorokin's bank account so that she may use the funds ahead of her release from prison, which is scheduled for February.

Sorokin has already agreed to pay $70,000 in restitution to Citibank, and the Wall Street Journal reports that she has already paid $100,000 back to City National Bank. She has also paid $75,000 for lawyer fees.

Sorokin was arrested in 2017 on charges of grand larceny and was tried in 2019. She sentenced to 12 years in prison, including the two she had already served in Rikers Island. She was, however, granted early release for February 2021, according to Insider.

After losing her criminal case, Sorokin filed an appeal. If she wins, she might not have to pay anything at all, according to Dmitriy Shakhnevich, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“If the appeal would overturn her conviction, all with the judgment – financial and punitive and otherwise – would be gone,” Mr Shakhnevich told Insider.

Though she has already paid restitution to certain banks, Sorokin's lawyer in  the appellate case, Audrey A Thomas, says that while her client believes she owes money, she doesn't think she ever stole it.  

“She said, 'You know, I want them to be paid. I didn't steal the money, but I do owe money, so I'm not going to fight it. That's not who I am,'” Ms Thomas said.

Shonda Rhimes's company, Shondaland, is currently producing the Netflix series Inventing Anna, which is based on the New York Magazine article and will star Ozark actor Julia Garner as Sorokin.

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