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A Russian-born woman who hoodwinked banks, socialites, and wealthy New Yorkers into believing she was a rich German heiress was found guilty in Manhattan this week of running a host of scams.
In the course of nearly a year, prosecutors said Anna Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, falsified documents for a $22 million loan, fraudulently deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars of bad checks, and stuck an associate with a vacation tab totaling more than $60,000.
The 28-year-old Sorokin, dubbed the “SoHo Grifter,” had been accused of bilking thousands to furnish a lavish lifestyle that included upscale hotels, luxury clothes, and extravagant overseas jaunts, fooling those in her social circle into paying her way by posing as the heiress to a non-existent overseas fortune that she claimed totaled more than $60 million euros. According to NBC, she told people her father was either a filthy rich oil baron or diplomat. But she “didn’t have a cent to her name,” authorities say.
She was convicted on eight charges, including grand larceny in the first, second, and third degree, as well as theft of services.
Cyrus Vance Jr., Manhattan district attorney, called Sorokin’s “many thefts and lies” a “lengthy masquerade” in a press release following the ruling. “Anna Sorokin committed real white-collar felonies,” he said in a statement.
Authorities accused her of stealing more than $275,000 and during her trial laid out a litany of fraudulent schemes she cooked up. Ahead of the trial, prosecutors alleged Sorokin’s crimes ranged from “check fraud to six-figure stolen loans and includes schemes that resulted in a free trip to Morocco and travel on private planes.”
In November 2016 they said she attempted to secure a $22 million loan to open a private club and art gallery by falsifying bank documents showing a fortune close to $70 million in fake overseas account. She never received the loan but was approved for $100,000 loan by another bank, which she never repaid, according to CBS News.
In April 2017, Sorokin deposited $160,000 in “bad checks” into a CitiBank account. She then transferred $70,000 before the checks could be returned, according to prosecutors. Sorokin reportedly used roughly $30,000 to settle a SoHo hotel tab. The next month she chartered a private plane for $35,000, and later skipped out on that bill.
Prosecutors also said Sorokin deceived a friend into taking an all-inclusive trip to Morocco and later left the individual with a $62,000 bill. However, she was acquitted on that charge.
Sorokin’s lawyer, Todd Spodek, didn’t respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
However, he told the Associated Press his client was an aspiring businesswoman who had intended to pay back the staggering debts she owed. Sorokin, he said, had dug herself a hole and was “buying time”—and that she had no criminal intent. He added Sorokin was “upset” with the court’s decision.
Prosecutors expect Sorokin will be sentenced on May 9. They saY she could face five to 15 years in prison for the first degree grand larceny charge alone. She could face deportation for overstaying her visa, according to CBS News.
Netflix is reportedly developing a true crime series about the white collar fraudster, according to Variety.
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