Anna Sorokin (28) lived a luxury life like so many socialites in the New York rich-air scene. But the “German millionaire’s daughter” was exposed as a scammer. Today she is on trial for theft of around 282,000 USD in ten months.
Creaking fresh banknotes for taxi drivers and hotel caretakers. A world full of expensive hotel rooms, whiskey and caviar. Anna Sorokin entered the jet set world of New York in 2016, as Anna Delvey. She belonged immediately, with her Celine sunglasses, Gucci shoes, and other very expensive brands she wore. Whoever asked where she got her money heard that she was a German millionaire’s daughter. One time Sorokin put up the story that her father was a diplomat, the other time an oil baron or a successful businessman in solar panels. Nobody knew that her father is actually a former truck driver.
The alarm bells did not go off immediately when Sorokin asked her ‘friends’ to advance taxis and flight tickets for her – they swallowed her story that she had difficulty transferring her assets from Europe to the US. She would pay it back, really.
Sorokin promised Rachel Williams to pay a luxury trip to Morocco. In the end, it was Williams who was saddled with the bill of 62,000 USD. “It was just like a magic trick,” Williams told the American magazine Vanity Fair. “I am deeply ashamed to say that I was one of the accessories in her magical act. Anna was a fantastic dream, like an endless evening. Until the bill was presented.”
After the shrewd Sorokin became a regular face in the New York upper class, she started telling stories about an art club she wanted to realize. But, of course, she needed money for that. She wanted to borrow almost 20 million USD. She was able to present a (counterfeit) letter of credit from UBS Bank in Switzerland and showed account statements showing her ‘assets’. One bank refused her request, with another she dropped the request herself when a more thorough investigation of her assets was announced. At yet another bank, she managed to get 100,000 USD. According to the prosecutors, she surprised that amount in a month. She then rented a private jet, but the bill of more than 33,000 USD remained unpaid.
In July last year, Sorokin first ran into problems when the police were called in because she could not pay a hotel bill. But even then she persisted. She told an agent that her aunt from Germany “would really pay her bail.” “Give me five minutes, then I’ll take care of it,” she said, according to the court documents.
The curtain fell last October. Sorokin appears to be Russian in origin and does not own a cent as far as the prosecutors have been able to find out. Yet she still intended to prove her innocence. “She really didn’t mean to scam people,” says her lawyer Todd Spodek.
The story makes such a sensation in America that even Hollywood is fascinated by it. Shonda Rhimes, the brain behind successful TV series such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, has already announced that a series about the ‘German millionaire’s daughter’ will soon be available on Netflix.