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- Russian-born fraudster
Anna Sorokin, who posed as a German heiress named Anna Delvey to grift her way into a luxurious Manhattan lifestyle, has been released from prison this week after years of backlash for her famous SoHo scam. The 30-year-old scammed friends and banks out of tens of thousands of dollars in cash and services, including trips to Morocco and a private flight to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. After spending the last few years in prison at the Albion Correctional Facility in upstate New York, Sorokin was released on parole Thursday, NBC News reports.
In April 2019, Sorokin was convicted by a Manhattan State Supreme Court jury on four counts of theft services, three counts of grand larceny, and one count of attempted grand larceny. The following month, New York Justice Diane Kiesel sentenced Sorokin to four to 12 years in prison because she said she was “stunned by the depth” of Sorokin’s deceptions.
“This defendant’s alleged criminal conduct spans from check fraud to six-figure stolen loans,” the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said in its indictment at the time.
For years, Sorokin lied to friends and businesses about her father being a diplomat or an oil baron worth millions of dollars abroad in order to convince them to give her money to maintain a lavish lifestyle. Among some of her grifts, she stole $62,000 (£45,000) from a friend to cover a trip to Morocco, and convincing a bank to lend her $100,000 (£72,000) that she never returned.
At the time of her sentencing, Sorokin originally told the court she was sorry for her mistakes. She later backtracked when she was sentenced to time in prison, telling The New York Times, “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything.” But she has once again changed her tune. During a parole hearing in October 2020, Sorokin told the board: “I’m really ashamed, and I’m really sorry for what I did.” Although she was released on good terms, Sorokin now risks deportation to Germany, Insider reports.
During her time in prison, Sorokin made art, which she shared on her Instagram. One drawing shows her sitting on a lounge chair behind barbed wire, reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People and joking about her Miu Miu sunglasses being contraband.
Sorokin also launched her website, Anna Delvey Diaries, while in prison, which includes notes about being incarcerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a Rikers Island tip sheet for former President Donald Trump.
“Surely you will be pleased to discover that this is a surprisingly lawless place (for a government institution), where rules are a viewed as a mere suggestion and boundaries don’t exist,” she tells Trump.
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