Anna Sorokin is the real Anna Delvey. The true story of the fake heiress is now being told from a New York prison cell where Sorokin is in ICE custody.
Anna Delvey was a fake German heiress created by Anna Sorokin, who pretended to be a socialite. Sorokin was convicted in 2019 of bilking companies out of $275,000 during a 10-month spending spree, and spent time behind bars. Among her victims was Rachel DeLoache Williams, a former friend. Neff Davis was also a real person.
Sorokin was born in Russia but lived in Germany before moving to the United States in 2013, according to ABC News. Prosecutors said at her trial that she used her fake identity “to swindle Manhattan’s elite, gaining access to exclusive parties, nightclubs and hotels,” ABC reported. She was accused of defrauding businesses of about $275,000, including hotels, restaurants, banks and a private jet company, the news outlet reported.
The story is gaining popularity after Netflix released its 2022 miniseries, “Inventing Anna.”
ABC 20/20 also dug into the case in an episode, “The Sinfluencer of Soho,” which aired in 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Sorokin Wrote a Piece About Her Life Now & Her Time in ICE Detention
Sorokin wrote a piece published by Insider about her life today and the release of the drama miniseries.
“While the world is pondering Julia Garner’s take on my accent in ‘Inventing Anna,’ a Netflix show about me, the real me sits in a cell in Orange County’s jail in upstate New York, in quarantine isolation,” Sorokin began her piece.
She goes on to write that she had been self-sufficient – legally. She wrote that she paid restitution and says that the reasons she overstayed her Visa were “unintentional” and “largely” outside of her control.
“Did I mention I’m the only woman in ICE custody in this whole jail? Tell me I’m special without telling me I’m special,” she wrote.
Sorokin’s Former Friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams, Says the Netflix Series Gives the Con Woman the Attention She Craves
“Netflix isn’t just putting out a fictional story. It’s effectively running a con woman’s P.R.—and putting money in her pocket,” she wrote.
New York law prevents convicted criminals from turning a profit for their crimes until they pay restitution, which Sorokin claims she did in an essay of her own, published by Insider in advance of the miniseries’ release. Sorokin sold the rights to her story to Netflix and Shonda Rimes. Insider reported that the rights were sold for $320,000.
Sorokin was booked into the New York Department of Corrections May 15, 2019, and released in February, 2021, according to her prison record. She was released from Kings County and placed on parole, the jail record says.
Here is her prison record:
DeLoache also wrote an essay for Time that said a person who commits “splashy” enough crimes can still turn a profit even after paying restitution.
“If your crimes are splashy enough, a media company could snatch up the rights to your story pre-trial so that you’re able to afford the attorney of your choice, one skilled enough to minimize your penalty. You could be paid so much money that even after your funds are frozen and victims are repaid, you have cash left over. And, not only that, but if fame is what you’re after, you’ll have built yourself a ‘brand,’ created a platform, and found an audience to leverage for future opportunities,” DeLoache Williams wrote.
Sorokin Used Her Instagram Account to Back Up Her Fake Persona, & Still Uses the Handle ‘Anna Delvey’
Sorokin has an active Instagram profile which uses the name “The Anna Delvey.” The profile says “Reinventing Anna / Professional Defendant.” It was Sorokin’s Instagram profile, in part, that landed her more time in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Insider reported.
An immigration judge ruled in April that Sorokin should remain in ICE custody, taking action that sided with an ICE attorney, according to Insider. The attorney pointed to Sorokin’s Instagram page, saying her posts indicate she had not been rehabilitated. The judge determined Sorokin should remain in Bergen County jail in New Jersey, describing her as a “danger to society,” her attorney, Audrey A. Thomas, told Insider.
Sorokin was released from prison in February 2021 and taken into ICE custody in March. She had several new posts in February 2022, including a video. She set her location on the video as the Orange County Correctional Facility.
Sorokin posted several times in March, shortly before she was arrested again. On March 23, 2021, she wrote, “They already told you I own this lawless f****** city.”
She posted several days earlier on March 13, 2021, writing, “30 days out, over this s*** already.”
Sorokin’s Friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams, Said Delvey’s Instagram Profile Backed Up Her Story
Rachel DeLoache Williams, a former friend of Sorokin who testified against her at trial, said it was the woman’s Instagram profile, in part, which seemed to back up her story of wealth and status, during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
“Anna didn’t post on Instagram that regularly, but before I met her I saw that she had 40,000 something followers and that gave her a base line of validity in my mind. That and the fact that she knew my friends,” Williams told Harper’s Bazaar. “It served as an instant background check which isn’t reliable, obviously. It’s interesting to think about whether or not social media impacted Anna’s desire to simulate this lifestyle that perhaps she had seen online and on social media.”
Williams told the publication that her experiences taught her about herself, and caused her to reflect on the use of social media.
She told the publication she learned to check her tendency to be “very trusting and look for the good and want to believe people.”
“I need to check that and try to see what’s right in front of me,” Williams told the publication. “Also, I’ve learnt not to believe everything you see on social media. You can’t know someone based on their highlights reel, or this curated version of themselves. While these things may have happened, and I’m certainly addicted to Instagram, a person’s Instagram feed is not reflective of their entire being or lifestyle.”