Fake Heiress Learns Her Fate

Anna Sorokin sentenced to 4-12 years behind bars
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2019 4:32 PM CDT
Fake Heiress Learns Her Fate
Anna Sorokin arrives for sentencing at New York State Supreme Court, in New York, Thursday, May 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Anna Sorokin, the German con artist who passed herself off as a wealthy heiress to swindle banks, hotels, and even close friends as she lived out a high-society, Instagram-ready fantasy in New York, was sentenced Thursday to four to 12 years in prison, the AP reports. The 28-year-old, who had played with her own tabloid image during the trial by wearing stylish dresses to court, looked despondent as the verdict was announced. She pressed her hand to her face and squeezed her eyes shut, appearing to hold back tears. Judge Diane Kiesel said Sorokin had been "blinded by the glitter and glamour of New York City" as she turned to fraud to finance a life she could never afford. But she turned down a request by Sorokin's lawyers that she be sentenced to the time she has already spent in jail awaiting trial. "I am stunned by the depth of the defendant's deception," Kiesel said.

Sorokin was convicted last month on multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services and has been in custody since her October 2017 arrest. Moments before she was sentenced, Sorokin briefly addressed the court, saying, "I apologize for the mistakes I made." Sorokin went by Anna Delvey when she defrauded financial institutions and Manhattan celebrities into believing she had a fortune of $67 million overseas that could cover her jet-setting lifestyle, high-end clothing, and lavish hotel stays. She falsely claimed her father was a diplomat or an oil baron, falsified bank records, and forged her identity to further the scam. In all, prosecutors accused her of stealing some $275,000, including a $35,400 bill she failed to pay for a plane she chartered to and from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. She went to great lengths to ensure others paid her way, even as she had "not a cent to her name, as far as we can determine," prosecutor Catherine McCaw said following Sorokin's arrest. (More on the wild story here.)

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