Anna Sorokin, a noted swindler who conned New York's wealthiest out of hundreds of thousands of dollars before her apprehension, may not be profiting from a TV deal based on her criminal escapades.
The office of the New York State Attorney General filed a request in late May to block Netflix from paying Sorokin $70,000 she was promised for her deal with the streaming giant. Invoking the "Son of Sam" laws, which prevent criminals from making money off materials related to their crimes, the payment has now been temporarily stopped, according to court records obtained by The New York Post.
Sorokin had been convicted of several counts of grand larceny and was sentenced in May to four to 12 years behind bars after posing as a German heiress named Anna Delvey. As Delvey, Sorokin had spent exorbitant amounts of money on clothes, hotels, and other opulent expenses but had repeatedly walked out on the bill.
Director Shonda Rhimes, best known for her work on "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy," had been helming a project based on Sorokin's misdeeds, through which Sorokin was offered a $15,000 per episode consultant fee and a $7,500 per episode royalty, according to The New York Times. Justice Roger D. McDonough in Albany has ordered Netflix to not disburse the payments until the matter is resolved in court.
Adele Durand, an assistant New York attorney general, argues that Sorokin's deal with Netflix amounts to profiting off of a crime and that Sorokin's payments should be redistributed by the New York State Office of Victim Services.
Sorokin already received $30,000 which went toward her attorney’s unpaid legal fees, which the AG's office is not disputing, reports the New York Post.
Sorokin's deal with Netflix had been finalized in June of 2018, only a few months after her arrest.
Courts had ordered Sorokin to pay nearly $200,000 back to her victims following her conviction, including a $100,000 loan she failed to repay to City National Bank. Prosecutors said Sorokin “had not a cent to her name when she was taken into custody," according to The Associated Press.
“It has always been Ms. Sorokin’s intention to pay back her victims,” Todd Spodek, her lawyer, said in a text message to The New York Times. “I anticipate resolving the issue without further litigation.”
Sorokin, meanwhile, has expressed no remorse for her crimes.
“I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything,” she said to The New York Times in May. “I regret the way I went about certain things.”
“My motive was never money,” she added. “I was power hungry. I’m not a good person.”
Sorokin's highly publicized trial garnered international attention, especially after she threw a literal temper tantrum that delayed the proceedings when her stylist had difficulties handing off hand-selected designer outfits for court, according to MSN.
The "Son of Sam" laws, named after the infamous murderer David Berkowitz, were created in 1977 in response to rumors about the serial killer intending to sell his story to a filmmaker.
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