Inventing Anna: Fake heiress ‘Anna Delvey’ claims she spent $320,000 Netflix payout on restitution

Crime doesn’t pay for Anna Sorokin, who scammed thousands from New York banks and hotels

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 15 February 2022 14:10
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The Shocking True Story of Inventing Anna

Convicted fraudster Anna Sorokin, whose life as a fake German heiress has become the subject of a new Netflix series, said she used the money she got from the streaming platform to pay off her legal fees.

Ms Sorokin, now 31 years old, posed as Anna Delvey for several years in her 20s and scammed thousands of dollars from banks and hotels around New York.

The former fake heiress was hired as a paid consultant for the Netflix show Inventing Anna that is based on her life and she used her fees of $320,000 (£230,000) to pay her legal expenses.

“I paid $198,000-something for restitution, which I have paid off in its entirety and right away, and the rest of it to my legal fees,” Ms Sorokin told The New York Times in an interview.

She added that due to the fees she received from Netflix for consulting on the series, she could not honestly deny that “crime pays”.

“Yes, and that’s why, to reference that BBC interview where I was asked ‘Does crime pay?’, I could not honestly say ‘no’ in my situation, because I did get paid,” Ms Sorokin said when she was asked about her payment.

“For me to say ‘no’ would just be denying the obvious. I didn’t say that crime pays in general.”

In an interview with the BBC in March 2021, Ms Sorokin had been asked if crime pays, to which she had responded: “In a way it did.”

She said that, through the Netflix project and another documentary that she is collaborating on, she is not trying to encourage people to commit crimes.

“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.”

“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,” she said.

Ms Sorokin had been arrested in 2017. She was convicted in 2019 of fraud and grand larceny and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In February 2021, she was released from prison on early parole on grounds of good behaviour, but was re-arrested after six weeks by immigration authorities for having overstayed her visa.

She has since been detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention over the last year and is fighting deportation to Germany.

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