Anna Sorokin, a.k.a. Anna Delvey, a.k.a. the SoHo Grifter, has an intimidating debt to repay: $199,000 in restitution and a $24,000 fine as a penalty for an extravagant scam through which she conned people, banks, and businesses out of $275,000. Sorokin had been scheduled to receive a fairly hefty sum for signing over her life rights to Netflix, but now, the Attorney General's office has invoked the "Son of Sam Law," pressing pause on the payments.
In May, Judge Diane Kiesel of the Manhattan state court sentenced Sorokin to between 4 and 12 years in prison, noting that she was "stunned by the depth of the defendant's deception." Adopting the alias Anna Delvey, an alleged German heiress with more than $60 million to her name, Sorokin leveraged falsified bank statements to secure substantial loans, which prosecutors said she used to fund her extended stays in boutique hotels, upscale shopping habits, and the various other facets of her luxurious lifestyle. Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Williams also accused Sorokin of inviting her on an all-expenses-paid trip to Morocco, then sticking her with the $62,000 tab. Williams wrote about the trip in an essay for the magazine, subsequently signing deals with Simon and Schuster and HBO, at $300,000 apiece.
A jury found Sorokin guilty on multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services (although not of the alleged Morocco swindle) in April, after she signed a contract with Netflix for a Shonda Rhimes-produced series based on a New York Magazine profile of Sorokin. Per the agreement, the fake heiress has already received $30,000, which she used to pay her attorney. She had been scheduled to get another $70,000 on June 8th, plus $7,500 in royalties and an additional $15,000 consulting fee per episode.
The AG will let the legal payment slide, but intends to block the rest of the Netflix money under New York's "Son of Sam Law," which bars offenders from profiting off their crimes, instead diverting any proceeds from books or scripts to victims. The measure was enacted in 1977, as serial killer David Berkowitz (the self-appointed Son of Sam) sold the rights to his story. The law has been successfully challenged in the past—in 1991, the Supreme Court ruled it violated the First Amendment, concluding a lawsuit brought by Simon and Schuster—but the judge is reportedly waiting on Sorokin's lawyers before delivering a ruling.
Sorokin is currently serving her sentence at New York's Albion Correctional Facility, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is looking to deport her as soon as she's out. In addition to doing all those crimes, she also overstayed her visa, but purportedly has zero regrets. In fact, she told the NY Times, "I'd be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I went about certain things," Sorokin continued, but not the grift itself.
"My motive was never money. I was power hungry," she explained. "I'm not a good person."