The woman who posed as a German heiress until she was arrested for scamming banks and individuals out of $275,000 was convicted on Thursday. A jury found Sorokin guilty of multiple counts of grand larceny plus theft of services.
Sorokin, who used the alias Anna Delvey, claimed to be a German heiress intending to open a 45,000-square foot arts foundation. She lived in boutique hotels and was a regular on the international party circuit. She also allegedly faked bank statements to show she had tens of millions in her account—in order to secure loans, and then allegedly used those loans to pay for luxury shopping, a personal trainer, and her hotel stays.
Her story elicited widespread media attention, and Shonda Rhimes is now developing a Netflix project about her—Sorokin's lawyer confirmed she sold her life rights to Rhimes.
While Sorokin was found guilty of attempted grand larceny in the first degree, related to trying to get a $22 million loan, the Post reports, "...she got off on the second top charge of attempting to get the same loan from a different bank. The panel also let her slide on the charge she invited her ex-pal Rachel Williams on an all-expenses-paid trip to Morocco and then stuck her with the $70,000 bill."
Williams wrote about the experience for Vanity Fair, where Williams works as a photo editor. Williams said she went on the trip because Sorokin offered to pay for it, but Williams ended up footing the bill for the extravagant getaway. During her testimony, Williams "admitted to scoring over $300,000 in book deals" and a deal with HBO.
Todd Spodek and Sorokin in court on April 25, 2019 (Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock)
Todd Spodek, Sorokin's defense lawyer, tried to convince jurors that his client was just being an ambitious New Yorker. During opening statements, he said, "In her world this is what her social circle did. Everyone’s life was perfectly curated for social media. People were fake. People were phony. And money was made on hype alone," and also referenced Ol' Blue Eyes, "Frank Sinatra said, ‘I’ll make a brand new start of it in old New York, if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’ because the opportunities in New York are endless... Anna had to kick down the door to get her chance at life. Just like Sinatra had to do it his way, Anna had to do it her way."
He reminded jurors of that sentiment in his closing statements, "Sinatra made a brand new start of it in New York, just as Miss Sorokin did. They both created their own opportunities."
Assistant District Attorney Kaegan Mays-Williams argued that Sorokin was living "the fantasy of an extravagant lifestyle beyond her means," adding, "She stole from banks. She stole from hotels. She stole from friends. She tried to steal from a hedge fund."
Sorokin faces up to 15 years in prison for the first-degree attempted grand larceny conviction; Spodek believes she'll be deported before her May 9th sentencing, according to the Post.
"As proven at trial, Anna Sorokin committed real white-collar felonies over the course of her lengthy masquerade," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. "I thank the jury for its service in this complex trial, as well as my Office's prosecutors and investigators for their meticulous investigation and resolve to ensure that Sorokin faces real justice for her many thefts and lies."