If you haven’t seen “Inventing Anna” on Netflix, you are living under a rock. The new limited series starring Julia Garner tells the wild true story of Anna Sorkin, or how many of us know her: Anna Delvey. She was a fake socialite who successfully posed as a rich German heiress under the name Anna Delvey. She was not only able to pose as an heiress for long, but Sorokin successfully swindled banks, hotels, and friends out of $275,000 dollars. But, who is she and how was she able to pull all of this off?
Anna was originally born in Domodedovo, Russia. Domodevedo is a small town outside of Moscow. She was born on January 23, 1991, But in 2007, she and her family relocated to Eschweiler, Germany. Anna and her brother grew up in a middle-class family, with her father being a truck driver and her mother owned a small convenience store. Ever Since she was a child, Anna was described as extremely unremarkable and timid, But this would all change once she graduated high school.
At the age of 19, Sorokin left Germany to pursue her dream. She wanted to get a fashion degree in Paris and start building her fashion empire. Once she started her studies, Anna started an internship at Purple, a French fashion magazine. During her time at her internship, Anna was struggling to make ends meet. She was making about 400 euros monthly and urgently dependent on her parents’ financial support.
in 2013, Anna was given the opportunity to go to New York Fashion. She would be attending the show on behalf of Purple. This is where Anna fell in love with the Big Apple, she eventually opted to move to the city permanently.
Summer of 2016:
In the summer of 2016, Anna officially moved to N.Y.C. Sorokin was quick to build a name for herself. She told everyone her name was Anna Delvey, a wealthy German heiress who had a trust fund of 60 million euros. Her fake persona was working, she was starting to parade with the city’s socialites and infiltrate herself in the elite’s inner circle of New York.
This persona was well believed by how Anna was sustaining it. She would post her lavish lifestyle on every social media platform. She would post herself dining in the finest restaurants, seen at celebrity parties, flying private jets, and traveling to sumptuous destinations every other weekend.
But, something that Anna could not keep straight in her story was how she was so wealthy. To some, she would say that her father was in the oil business, to others she would say he was a diplomat, or in the solar energy business. It seemed like Anna changed the story depending on who she was speaking to. But, nevertheless, no one suspected that she lied about her “background”.
The “Anna Delvey Foundation”
Anna had a dream once she moved to the city, and that dream was to buy real estate. Anna had her eye on the Church Mission House, located in Park Avenue South in New York City. It was a prime piece of real estate in Manhattan and considered a historic building.
In the building, she wanted to make the “Anna Delvey Foundation” and she would tell anyone that would listen what she wanted to do with the property. She saw it was the perfect place to have a dynamic visual arts center. It would include art galleries, exclusive lounges, pop-up shops, restaurants, bars, and a juice bar.
Anna seemed very interested and serious about making this dream come true. She talked to banks for loans, attempted to pitch ideas to wealthy investors, sought advice from financial counselors, and even hired the best PR team. She started gaining some momentum and then suddenly she left New York. She told some friends that she needed to leave the US due to a visa issue.
In February of 2017, Anna came back to New York and checked in to the 11 Howard. From there, Anna was able to rack up a hefty bill and made no effort to pay them. She would go to expensive workout classes and spend her evening at Le Coucou, an expensive restaurant that 11 Howard owned, meaning that she could simply charge the meals to her hotel bill. Anna spent so much money and time at the restaurant, that she even befriended the head chef and had him make her elaborate meals that weren’t even on the menu.
May of 2017 is when Anna hit her first patch of trouble. After spending about three months in 11 Howard, the hotel realized they did not have a working credit card on file and her immense bill was starting to pile up. Anna kept on giving them credit card information that was either not valid or not working. In the middle of this controversy, Anna left the city in a $35,000 private jet to Nebraska.
Trip to Morocco:
After coming back from Nebraska, Anna connected with Rachel Williams, a Vanity Fair photo editor. In May of 2017, Anna, Rachel, and some other friends went to Morocco and stayed in a luxurious resort. Rachel informed Anna that she would not be able to afford the trip for herself. Sorokin told her to not worry that Anna would pay for it herself. Anna would be paying for airfare, hotels, and dinners for all her friends and herself.
Rachel stated that they were having the time of their lives, that was until the obvious happened. During the trip, the hotel started hounding Anna for a working credit card. Which at the time she did not have, but no one on the trip knew that. At first, the hotel thought it was a simple mistake and was very polite about the inconvenience. But, near the end of their stay, the hotel started coming down on Anna for a payment.
They demanded a credit card for one of the girls, and the person ended up being Rachel. Rachel described Anna to be annoyed and irritated at the hotel for this and for holding her up. She apparently told Rachel, “Listen, this is just a little mix-up. Can you cover this, and I’ll pay you back in a week”. At the time, Rachel was making about $60,000 dollars a year and was now having to pay a $62,000 bill. In the end, Rachel published an article for Vanity Fair about her friendship with Sorokin and the trip.
Once she officially arrived in New York, she could not go back to 11 Howard because they banned her from the hotel and locked all her items. Instead of paying back her expensive bill, Anna checked into another luxurious hotel. She checked in to the Beekman. But, once she asked for a room, they kicked her out as well. There she had previously racked up a bill of $11, 000 and would not be able to check-in if she did not pay up.
During this time, Anna's situation kept getting direr. Her beloved property in Park Avenue South was sold to someone else. Anna was so passionate about making the business venture work because she states with the profit made, she would be able to pay all her debt and actually be able to afford this lavish lifestyle.
To make the situation worse, the press had caught on to the hotel scandal. The New York Post published an article asking who was Anna Delvey? and why was she going to luxury hotels and stuffing them on the bills? And the press were not the only ones who were investigating Anna.
The New York police arrested Anna in December of 2017. She was arrested and charged with grand larceny, falsifying documents, theft of services, and other charges as well. She bilked about $275,000 dollars from banks, restaurants, hotels, and friends like Rachel. It was also revealed that her real name was Anna Sorokin and her true background.
How was she able to pull it off?:
Don’t forget, Anna’s main goal was to build her Visual Arts Center and buy the Park Avenue South property. She started by going to National Bank in late 2016. She went into the bank asking for a $22 million loan, and she allergy went into the bank with documents stating that she owned about 60 million British pounds in assets. Anna was actually successful in those meetings and the bank only wanted her to wire them $100,000 which would basically cover their legal fees and the cost of due diligence in investigating
Anna went to Fortress Bank to get those $100,000. She told them that she had a loan for a business offer of 22 million dollars and once she got the loan, she would pay the bank straight away. Anna was successful and took that money to the National Bank.
Once she gave the money to National Bank, Anna started making fake deposits and checks to banks like CityBank and Signature Bank. But, somehow, Anna was able to pull out the checks before the banks saw they were fake. This is why Anna was always seen using cash because she had no credit to her.
But, her loan with National bank, came crashing down. She knew she would be doomed because she needed the loan to pay friends like Rachel back, all the jets she used, hotels, Signature bank, and that one PR company she used to make her foundation.
What happened to Anna?
Anna Sorokin’s trial started in early 2019, in true Anna style she hired a fashion coordinator and a flashy lawyer. Anna also delayed the trial several times due to the fact she did not like what she was wearing. But, in the end, she was found guilty of all eight charges on her name. Anna was sentenced to between 4 to 12 years in jail, she had to pay a $200,000 check for restitution and a $24,000 fine as well. But, once she is released from her sentence, US Customs and Immigration will deport her back to Germany.