Who Is Anna Delvey? Everything You Need To Know About 'Fake Heiress' Who Inspired Netflix's Inventing Anna
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Netflix’s much-anticipated drama series Inventing Anna is set to introduce the world to Anna Delvey, the “fake German Heiress”, and boy are we in for a ride.
Delvey’s story came to light after an in-depth feature was published in New York Magazine by journalist Jessica Pressler in 2019.
The Shondaland drama will chart Anna's rise and fall on the New York social scene. The Russian-born German socialite famously posed as a wealthy heiress, scamming banks, hotels and rich acquaintances out of hundreds of thousands of dollars before eventually being jailed.
So who is Anna 'Delvey'?
Anna Delvey – born Anna Sorokin – is a German woman who moved to New York in 2013. She used the fake name and pretended to be a wealthy European heiress to climb her way up the social ladder after arriving in the Big Apple.
In reality, Sorokin’s parents came from a humble background. Her mother owned a convenience store before becoming a housewife and her dad was a truck driver. Her parents said they “do not recognise the surname” Delvey.
She was born in the town of Domodedovo, near Moscow, in January 1991, and the family moved to Germany in 2007 when she was 16.
Sorokin moved to London in 2011 for a short period to attend Central Saint Martins but quit and returned to Germany. She then relocated to Paris to start an internship with Purple, a French fashion magazine. It was in Paris that she began using the name Delvey.
Delvey has 150k Instagram followers which she rarely updates now from behind bars.
What did Anna Delvey do?
Once Anna arrived in New York she started to pitch her idea for an “Anna Delvey Foundation” to potential wealthy investors.
This plan failed, so she began creating fake bank statements showing she had access to around £50 million stored in Swiss bank accounts. She needed these to submit loan applications but when suspicion grew over her applications due to discrepancies in her paperwork, she withdrew to avoid being caught.
Delvey befriended people who were rich to pay for her hotels, flights and meals on the promise she would pay them back but never did. She also racked up tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards which didn’t work.
After racking up a $33,000 (£24,300) bill at the Howard Hotel in SoHo she was evicted and moved to the Beekman Hotel. She was then evicted from there after failing to pay a bill of around $11,500 (£8,470).
Both hotels pressed charges against her for theft of services.
What happened to Anna Delvey?
Delvey was arrested on October 3 2017 in a sting operation. She appeared in New York City Criminal Court in December 2018, and a trial was set for March 2019.
She was found guilty of eight charges, including grand larceny in the second degree, attempted grand larceny and theft of services. For these crimes she was sentenced four to 12 years in prison, fined $24,000 (£17,677) and ordered to pay restitution of around $199,000 (£146,570).
A day after the trial in an interview with The New York Times Delvey said: “The thing is, I’m not sorry,”
She added: “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I went about certain things.”
In February 2021 she was released from prison for a short period but was taken back into custody for overstaying her visa. She remains there and is awaiting deportation back to Germany.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Delvey said: “I would like to show the world that I’m not this dumb, greedy person that they portrayed me to be.”
Well you can decide for yourself as Inventing Anna drops on Netflix on Friday 11th February.