Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Anna Sorokin: ‘Fake Heiress’ detained by ICE for seven months because she ‘overstayed her visa’

‘Soho grifter’ seeking asylum in the US remains in custody awaiting deportation to Germany

Justin Vallejo
New York
Monday 18 October 2021 20:19 BST
Anna Sorokin, Fake German heiress, jailed for scamming New York's richest

The so-called "Fake Heiress" has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for seven months despite completing her prison sentence for larceny and theft, according to reports.

Anna Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey to the high society set, turned herself into ICE in March after overstaying her visa. She remains in custody while waiting to be deported to Germany, attorney Audrey A Thomas told Insider.

"I have at least three cases where they released violent predicate felons with ankle bracelets," Ms Thomas told the outlet. "So why not her?"

The infamous "Soho grifter" was sentenced to theft and larceny charges, and was released on parole in February to serve out the remainder of her four-year term.

After turning herself into ICE less than a month later, an immigration judge ruled she should remain in custody while waiting to be deported.

Ms Thomas told Insider she has appealed the deportation order and applied for asylum in the United States.

Shortly before turning herself into ICE, Ms Sorokin told the outlet she was trying to "fix things and move on".

"I never really went, ‘Oh, let me go and defraud City National Bank, that will be the best thing to do ever.’ Or, ‘Let me go take this random girl, Rachel, on vacation and make her pay.’ Who thinks like this?"

"I feel like it’s an insult to my intelligence. Like the whole case that the prosecutors created against me. They presented me as being this thirsty and greedy. I just had this vision. And it didn’t work out."

That vision was thrust into the national spotlight in a series of stories published in Vanity Fair and New York Magazine in 2018. Netflix is turning the saga into a Shonda Rhimes series with Ozark star Julia Garner playing Ms Sorokin.

Ms Sorokin’s interview with Insider, along with Instagram posts and a blog post letter to Donald Trump, were used as evidence by ICE lawyers that she was not rehabilitated by her prison term.

Ms Thomas told the outlet that the parole board had already considered Ms Sorokin’s online activity when they cleared her for release in February, but that a judge ruled in October that she should remain detained.

"The parole board found that she wasn’t a threat and released her, having considered the very same thing that [immigration authorities] did," Ms Thomas told the outlet.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in