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Just weeks after her release from prison, Anna Sorokin is reflecting on her deceitful crimes posing as a wealthy heiress in New York and her newfound fame, saying that “in a way,” crime pays.
Sorokin, claiming to be a wealthy heiress, tricked her friends, financial institutions, and others out of hundreds of thousands of dollars between her arrival in New York in 2013 and 2017 arrest. She has been documenting her post-prison life on Instagram and reflecting on her notoriety in a series of media interviews.
The 30-year-old, who also uses the name Anna Delvey, cashed in on a $320,000 payday from Netflix for the rights to her story — although a significant portion of that windfall was used to repay her victims.
When asked in a "BBC Newsnight" interview published Tuesday whether she felt crime pays, Sorokin responded, “In a way, it did.”
Sorokin contended that much of her newfound fame has come to her on its own.
"I never asked for Netflix to buy my story, it just happened," she told the media outlet. "And everything else, it just spun out of my control. It's not like I orchestrated anything."
Sorokin also blamed prosecutors in her high-profile 2019 trial for creating her media persona, arguing that they “totally misrepresented” her motives for pretending to be a wealthy heiress with a $60 million trust fund. In reality, she is the daughter of Russian immigrants living in Germany.
Sorokin said her motive had been to secure a $22 million loan to get an arts foundation off the ground.
“They said I paraded around New York, posing as an heiress. What happened was strictly between me and financial institutions, it was none of their business,” she said of prosecutors. “They portrayed me as a wannabe socialite party girl and that was never my goal.”
Sorokin was convicted of three counts of grand larceny, four counts of theft of services, and one count of attempted grand larceny in April 2019 after she stole around $275,000 from businesses, banks, and supposed friends, according to NBC News.
She told the BBC that she got no thrill from her deception because she “never thought I was cheating or getting away with anything” during the lengthy ruse.
“In my head, any money that I would borrow from them they would be getting back,” she said.
Sorokin also denied that she is a manipulator.
“I was never too nice of a person. I was never trying to talk my way into anything,” she said. “I just told people what I wanted and they gave it to me, or I would move on.”
Sorokin apologized for her actions in front of a parole board in October.
“I just want to say that I’m really ashamed and I’m really sorry for what I did,” she said, according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by The New York Post.
However, Sorokin told "Newsnight" that she doesn’t believe that regret is the right word to describe her emotions, as it implies sadness and she isn’t sad about what she did. She would not do it again if she had the choice, she told the network.
Sorokin called her time behind bars in an interview on “Good Morning America” last week “therapeutic,” adding that she used the time to “read a lot and to write.”
She’s now busy writing her own book, plans to sell “merch” and has hired her own filmmaker to take control of her narrative, she told "Newsnight." Sorokin also plans to work on prison reform, she said.
“I am trying to turn the attention I am getting into something positive,” she said.
Of the $320,000 she received from Netflix, an estimated $198,000 of it was used to pay restitution to her victims, according to The New York Post.
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