Anna Delvey, the real-life scammer behind 'Inventing Anna', is being deported to Germany

·7 min read
Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY - Getty Images
Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY - Getty Images

You may not be familiar with the name Anna Sorokin, but you'll likely know her alter ego: Anna Delvey, the fraudulent, self-styled German 'heiress' whose true story inspired the new Netflix show, Inventing Anna.

The programme, starring Ozark's Julia Garner, details how Anna led a jet set lifestyle while claiming to be a wealthy socialite with dreams of starting an art foundation, and conned friends, businesses and banks out of hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process. She chartered private jets, stayed in some of the plushest hotels imaginable and regularly indulged in designer labels and fine dining.

But what is the real story behind Anna's web of lies? How accurate (and true to life) is Inventing Anna? And where is Anna Delvey/Sorokin now, after being ordered to serve jail time having been found guilty of grand larceny and theft of services?

Who is Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin)?

Anna Delvey is the fictional name used by Anna Sorokin, a Russian-born woman who moved to Germany with her family at the age of 16. She came from a modest background, with her father working as a truck driver and her mother as a homemaker (having previously owned a small shop). It's reported that Anna has one much younger brother, who close former friends have described as being one of her emotional 'weak spots' despite their ten-year-plus age gap.

After dropping out of her degree in London's Central Saint Martin's art and design college, Anna moved to Paris in 2013 and undertook an internship at Purple magazine, which is when she began adopting the surname Delvey, over her real one, Sorokin. Her parents have since said on record they're unsure why she chose the name Delvey, whereas Anna has previously claimed it to be her mother's maiden name.

Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY
Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY

During the summer of 2013, in her early twenties, Anna spent time in New York and quickly embedded herself in the artistic social scene there, befriending art collector Michael Xufu Huang, who told her of his plans to open a private museum. Anna asked to accompany Huang to an exhibition in Italy and promised she would pay back the cost of flights and a hotel stay at a later date, which Huang said only materialised much later on [he was eventually wired money from an unfamiliar account].

He says he grew even more suspicious of his 'friend' Anna after attending her birthday dinner and receiving a call from the restaurant asking for her details, as the card numbers she'd given had bounced.

This pattern of behaviour from Anna continued and wasn't limited to just Huang either; she also befriended former Vanity Fair photography editor Rachel DeLoache Williams, who claims she was conned out of her life savings during a trip to Marrakech, Morocco, when the hotel Anna had booked them into (for an 'all expenses paid' trip) demanded payment – and Anna said she was having trouble obtaining money from her trust fund. DeLoache Williams later wrote a book detailing her experience, My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress, and says she was put on the spot to pay and maximised a large overdraft to do so.

It wasn't only friends that Anna scammed either, the then-twenty-something woman also duped banks into loaning her hundreds of thousands of dollars, after forging paperwork to make it appear as though she genuinely did have an overseas trust fund worth around $60 million.

She also managed to convince a private jet company to allow her to charter a plane – which she later couldn't pay for and was reported to the police over – and had a habit of moving from five-star hotel to five-star hotel, paying the bills only when pressed (with money obtained by depositing fraudulent cheques).

Photo credit: Dave Kotinsky - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave Kotinsky - Getty Images

Following multiple police tip-offs and an exposé published by The Cut, Anna's double-life eventually caught up with her and she was arrested following a set-up dinner with former friend DeLoache Williams. She appeared in court in the spring of 2019 (allegedly hiring a stylist to beautify her beforehand), where she was found guilty of grand larceny and theft of services, and sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison, but only served three. At her sentencing she said, "I apologise for the mistakes I made."

Later, she told journalists [via The New York Times] that she had no regrets over her actions and even stressed that given the chance of a do-over, she'd make the same decisions again. "The thing is, I’m not sorry. 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."

She later added during an interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis. "[Others] portrayed me as someone very manipulative, which I don't think I am. I was never too nice of a person. I was never trying to talk my way into anything. I just told people what I wanted and they [either] gave it to me, or I would move on." She also said she "didn't ask" Netflix to buy in her story, but quipped that she guesses 'crime does pay' after all.

Where is Anna Delvey now? Is she still in jail?

Anna was released from prison on 11 February 2021, after serving just three years of her four-to-twelve-year sentence – and she appeared to quickly go back to her old ways of luxury, checking into NoMad, a swanky NY hotel, using the money she obtained from Netflix in exchange for the rights to her story (the streaming service allegedly paid Anna £230,000 – a portion of which went to repaying her bank debts and victims).

It's also believed that she used her newly-obtained income to hire a film crew to follow her around and document her early days of readapting into society, saying during an Insider interview, "I did what I did. And I was, I don't know, 23, 24, 25. I'm just trying to fix things and move on [...] I'm just kind of filming everything I’m doing right now and I’m going to see what to do with it later. I just got out of prison, like two days ago. So it's me like getting all this stuff from Sephora, me opening a bank account as soon as I get permission from my parole officer."

Just a month after her release, in late March 2021, Anna was taken into ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody for overstaying her visa in the US. It was later claimed by The New York Post that she was being detained at a facility in New Jersey.

But on Monday, 14th March 2022, two sources told Insider that Anna was set to be deported to Germany that evening. Manny Arora, one of Sorokin's lawyers, explained to Insider that she is still within a 30-day period in which she can appeal the decision. Arora said it is "not legally appropriate" for her to be deported before March 17 and that a paperwork error may have occurred, but "in the end, [ICE] can do whatever they want." Arora told NBC, "I haven't heard from Miss Sorokin this afternoon, and so I am working under the presumption that she is being deported."

Does Anna Delvey have Instagram?

Yes, Anna Sorokin's Instagram account @theannadelvey is still active, although her posts are infrequent. She most recently uploaded a clip from a podcast appearance, and press clips about Inventing Anna.

Previous posts also include a black and white image of her curled up on the back seat of a vehicle, possibly taken shortly after leaving jail, along with the words "30 days out, over this shit already". Anna has also shared screenshots of articles written about her, complete with scathing captions, and selfies, sometimes using animal filters.

Her social media profile also still bears evidence of her previous glitzy life, showing Anna partying around the world, staying in plush hotel rooms and wearing designer outfits.

The convicted scammer also has a Twitter account and on the day of her release from jail in February, she tweeted saying, "Someone from Fortress Investment Group – I need $720m by the end of next week, DM me" – clearly indicating that she has little desire to change the public's preconception of her. She has not tweeted since March of last year.

Read more about Anna and Rachel's friendship in My Friend Anna (out now):

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