Anna Sorokin — the woman who posed for nearly a year as a Manhattan socialite named Anna Delvey and managed to con trendsetters, businesses, and even banks — was found guilty Thursday on multiple fraud charges in a New York court.
The 28-year-old became a "Summer of Scam" legend in 2018 when stories of her scheme were published in Vanity Fair and New York magazine, detailing her extensive confidence scam in which she posed as a German heiress with a $60 million trust fund.
Wearing designer athleisure gear and carrying herself with an effortless self-assurance, Sorokin managed to schmooze her way into some of the city’s top parties, clubs, and hotels before her scheme unraveled in a mess of unpaid bills and her eventual arrest.
A jury deliberated for two days before convicting her Thursday on eight charges, including attempted grand larceny for attempting to obtain a $22 million loan from a bank. But jurors found her not guilty on two charges — a second count of attempted grand larceny, and for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from a friend who paid for a trip to Morocco.
“As proven at trial, Anna Sorokin committed real white-collar felonies over the course of her lengthy masquerade,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. “I thank the jury for its service in this complex trial, as well as my Office’s prosecutors and investigators for their meticulous investigation and resolve to ensure that Sorokin faces real justice for her many thefts and lies.”
Sorokin faces up to 15 years in prison on the attempted grand larceny charge when she is sentenced on May 9.
Sorokin, who was born in Russia and moved to Germany at 16, was actually a college dropout who once interned for a Paris fashion magazine. After making her way to New York, she managed to swindle $275,000 from hotels, restaurants, banks, and people between 2016 and 2017.
Living in some of New York’s swankiest hotels for months at a time, she racked up enormous bills on rooms and restaurants. Sorokin would promise payment via wire transfers that would never end up arriving.
Using fraudulent bank documents, she attempted to get $22 million loans from City National Bank and Fortress Investment Group, ostensibly to open an arts and social club. After convincing a City National Bank representative to let her overdraft her account, she secured a $100,000 loan, part of which she spent at Apple and Net-a-Porter.
In the Vanity Fair story, her onetime friend Rachel DeLoache Williams, a former photo editor of the magazine, revealed how she and Sorokin met at a Manhattan nightclub. Sorokin subsequently took her to glamorous dinners, drinks in hotel bars, visits to a personal trainer, and trips to the sauna, but always footed the bill.
The two went on a vacation in Morocco, where they stayed in a luxury resort for $7,000 a night, racking up a $62,000 bill. Williams believed Sorokin would cover it as usual, but when her card got declined, she convinced Williams to put it on her own card, saying she'd pay her back. When the money never came, Williams went to the police.
Williams testified through tears at Sorokin’s trial last week, where she said she wished she "had never met Anna," Rolling Stone reported.
“This is the most traumatic thing I have ever been through,” Williams said. “I wish I had never met Anna. If I could have gone back in time to not be where I am today, I would. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”
Ever conscious about her image, Sorokin’s courtroom looks became a much discussed topic of the trial.
Dressed by a celebrity stylist, she paired her signature thick black glasses and artfully messy hair with dresses in neutral shades and occasionally a black choker.
An "Anna Delvey Court Looks" Instagram even sprung up, which tracked her outfit of the day and where it came from. Nearly 4,000 people follow the account, many commenting on the posts with their own critiques of the looks.
In June, it was announced that Shonda Rimes is writing a Netflix series about Sorokin. Separately, Lena Dunham is also working on a series about her for HBO, for which Williams stands to make more than $300,000 for the rights.
Williams also has a $300,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster for an adaptation of her Vanity Fair story.