The story of the Russian-born fraudster who nearly fooled some of NYC's largest banks and investment funds into loaning her millions of dollars off of nothing more than ability to speak 'the language of finance' has finally reached its conclusion - well, for now, at least.
Anna Sorokin, the 28-year-old middle class Russian-born immigrant who shot to instant viral fame last year after a New York Magazine story recounting an epic crime spree where she bilked ritzy hotels, restaurants and banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, all to finance her lavish lifestyle, has been sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison.
Some may remember Sorokin was found guilty of second-degree grand larceny and theft of services late last month after a trial that was widely covered in the New York City tabloid press. Sorokin's wardrobe-related temper tantrums provided plenty of grist for journalists - and the public, which has been enthralled by her story, was eager to lap up every crumb of detail, according to the New York Post.
Notably, Sorokin was acquitted of the most serious charge: Attempted grand larceny in the first degree over a $22 million loan she had sought from Fortress Investment Group. She was also acquitted of stealing $60,000 from a friend and former Vanity Fair editor, whom she invited on an all-expenses paid Moroccan vacation, then swindled into putting the whole thing on her credit card. That editor, Rachel Williams, was fortunately bailed out after signing deals worth more than half a million dollars to work on TV shows (including a Netflix series) and other media currently in development focusing on Sorokin's story.
When she was active, Sorokin managed to steal $70,000 from Citibank by depositing checks and withdrawing money before they bounced - a technique scam artists call 'check kiting'. She was ultimately accused of stealing nearly $300,000.
If Sorokin serves the minimum of the sentence, that would only amount to one-third of the maximum penalty she could have incurred, which would have been 15 years. She will likely be deported back to Germany, where her family lives, once she has served her sentence.
Sorokin, who was reportedly born in a middle-class family, first broke into the high-society arts scene after obtaining a coveted internship at Purple, a Paris-based arts magazine. She parlayed those connections into a life in NYC, where she reportedly scammed the infamous Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland by living in the offices of his company Magnises for months, until the company moved.
Sorokin told friends and bankers that she was a German heiress named Anna Delvay, who had a trust fund with some $60 million held with UBS back in Europe. Her ultimate goal, it was said, was to obtain loans to build a SoHo House-style club focused on the arts.