As attorneys who work in tax law, it is not far-fetched to think that the first question we get asked when someone first meets us is, “What was Anna Delvey (the fake heiress) charged with?”
Those who watched Inventing Anna, the Netflix series produced by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, want to dive deeper into the legal questions the series raised. We are here to oblige.
Who is Anna Sorokin?
Anna Sorokin, who called herself Anna Delvey, is the young Russian-German woman who made her way into New York’s elite fashion and art society by claiming to be a German heiress. Sorokin told friends, acquaintances, bank officials, journalists and everyone she met that she was the daughter of a German multimillionaire. She convinced many that she would come into her own wealth when her significant trust fund was released to her.
Sorokin lived life large. She lived in luxurious New York hotels, flew by jet across the country and around the world and dressed to the nines. She was able to move past initial financing hurdles by creating fake financial statements showing that she had 60 million euro in Swiss accounts. Her goal? To create the Anna Delvey Foundation, a “private members’ club and art foundation.”
What was Anna charged with?
In 2017 she was arrested and charged with defrauding several people, banks, financial institutions of approximately $275,000. Two years later, in New York state court, she was charged with:
- Two counts of attempted grand larceny in the first degree
- Three counts of grand larceny in the second degree
- One count of grand larceny in the third degree
- Four counts of misdemeanor theft of services for her fraudulent loan applications, check fraud, unpaid trips, hotel sand restaurant bills
She was found guilty of eight of the charges but acquitted of the attempted grand larceny in the first degree and acquitted of stealing from friend Rachel DeLoache Williams.
Her sentence? Four to 12 years in state prison. Sorokin did make a deal for $320,000 with Netflix to consult on the Inventing Anna series. This amount also gave Netflix the rights to her story. Sorokin was required to use all but $22,000 of this to pay restitution to the banks. However, Sorokin was sued by the New York attorney general under the Son of Sam law, (New York Executive Law Section 632a) which prevents those who are convicted of a crime from profiting from its publicity.