Fake heiress Anna Sorokin who conned New York society and hotels out of $275K runs website where she bemoans the lack of ‘cocoa butter and vegan French dressing’ in prison ahead of Netflix drama about her life

  • German-born fake heiress Anna Sorokin, 30, was jailed for swindling US banks, hotels and members of New York high society out of $275,000
  • Sorokin, known as Anna Delvey, runs a personal blog from her New York prison
  • Reveals Covid disruptions meant her ‘vegan French dressing’ was replaced 
  • Sorokin could be released as early as next month after being granted parole
  • Her extraordinary life story is being told in a Netflix drama series Inventing Anna 

Fake heiress Anna Sorokin, who was jailed for swindling banks, hotels and members of New York high society out of $275,000, runs a personal blog from prison where she complains about the lack of ‘vegan French dressing’ and ‘cocoa body butter’. 

The lengthy post gives an account of how Covid-19 has impacted life at Albion Correctional Facility, a medium-security facility in upstate New York, and opens with the line: ‘Being in prison mostly feels like extended quarantining, only with a bunch of murderers, and we still can get our hair done.’

The website also gives Sorokin’s supporters details of how to contact her, and the option of transferring her money via cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

During her spree, Sorokin, 30, also known as Anna Delvey, lived in luxury New York hotel rooms that she couldn’t afford, promised a friend an all-expenses trip to Morocco and then left her with the $62,000 bill, and peddled bogus bank statements in her quest for a $22 million loan for a private arts club. 

Sorokin, whose extraordinary life is being made into a Netflix series starring Ozark’s Julia Garner, was convicted of multiple counts of attempted grand larceny, theft of services, and larceny in the second degree in April 2019. 

Jailed: Fake heiress Anna Sorokin, who was jailed for swindling banks, hotels and members of New York high society out of $275,000 runs a personal blog from prison where she complains about the lack of ‘vegan French dressing’ and ‘cocoa body butter’. Pictured, Sorokin at her sentencing at Manhattan State Supreme Court in May 2019

Blogging behind bars: The lengthy post gives an account of how Covid-19 has impacted life at Albion Correctional Facility, a medium-security facility in upstate New York, and opens with the line: ‘Being in prison mostly feels like extended quarantining, only with a bunch of murderers, and we still can get our hair done’

She was sentenced to serve 4 to 12 years in state prison, fined $24,000, and ordered to pay restitution of about $199,000. 

Sorokin was granted parole in October last year and is eligible for release as early as February 15, it is reported.

Her release could coincide with the release of Netflix series Inventing Anna from Shonda Rhimes’ production company Shondaland, which produced hit series Bridgerton. 

The Netflix deal reportedly landed Sorokin $100,000, plus ‘tens of thousands of dollars for ‘consulting services’ and royalty rights’, according to AirMail.

However under the ‘Son of Sam’ law, which prevents convicted criminals profiting from the publicity their crimes create, Sorokin is being forced to use the money earned to pay back her victims. 

On her blog, titled the Anna Delvey Diaries, Sorokin, who also runs an Instagram account from prison, describes in detail how Covid-19 impacted her life in prison. 

She writes: ‘It will forever stay in my memory how, due to some interruption in the food supply chain, they took the liberty of replacing vegan French dressing with a regular blue cheese one. Like having to settle for non-organic mixed greens and broccoli wasn’t punishment enough…

‘I survived the hours of uncertainty when they floated the possibility that cocoa butter may never be getting delivered to our commissary again. It wouldn’t be fair to people with shea butter allergy/aversion, pretty much the only alternative available. 

‘In fact, it would almost amount to discrimination, and we all know what happens to those who violate local inclusion and diversity guidelines. They are never to be seen again. So, cocoa butter is back in the game.’ 

TV adaptation: Sorokin’s extraordinary life is being made into a Netflix series starring Ozark’s Julia Garner. Pictured, Garner on set of TV series Inventing Anna

Revealing how she spent her time, Sorokin says she watched self-help and suicide prevention videos provided by the prison, does nine yoga classes a week and ‘finally read Euclid’s Geometry, Ulysses and Nietzsche’s Thoughts Out of Season’.

She continues: ‘I made my own nut mylks, grew my herb garden, and tested every organic produce supplier that would deliver here. 

‘And if I’m not a better person now than I used to be couple months ago, I definitely am a thinner, and an inch and a half taller one. Can someone google and let me know if it’s permanent or will I have to continue to stretch for two hours every day to maintain?’

Sorokin was born in Russia but is a German citizen, after her family moved there when she was a teenager.   

Prosecutors portrayed Sorokin as a profligate con artist, while her lawyer insisted she was an aspiring businesswoman taken in by New York’s extravagance.

Spodek, her defense attorney, insisted Sorokin had been ‘buying time’ and planned all along to settle her six-figure debts, portraying her as an entrepreneur who got in over her head. 

He compared her at one point to Frank Sinatra, saying ‘they both created their own opportunities’ in New York.

Living the high life: During her spree, Sorokin, 30, also known as Anna Delvey, lived in luxury New York hotel rooms that she couldn’t afford, promised a friend an all-expenses trip to Morocco and then left her with the $62,000 bill, and peddled bogus bank statements in her quest for a $22 million loan for a private arts club. Pictured, Sorokin in an Instagram snap 

Extracts from Anna Delvey Diaries 

On the impact of Covid on prison food

‘It will forever stay in my memory how, due to some interruption in the food supply chain, they took the liberty of replacing vegan French dressing with a regular blue cheese one. Like having to settle for non-organic mixed greens and broccoli wasn’t punishment enough…

‘I survived the hours of uncertainty when they floated the possibility that cocoa butter may never be getting delivered to our commissary again. It wouldn’t be fair to people with shea butter allergy/aversion, pretty much the only alternative available. 

‘In fact, it would almost amount to discrimination, and we all know what happens to those who violate local inclusion and diversity guidelines. They are never to be seen again. So, cocoa butter is back in the game.’ 

On how she passes the time 

Revealing how she spent her time, Sorokin says she watched self-help and suicide prevention videos provided by the prison, does nine yoga classes a week and ‘finally read Euclid’s Geometry, Ulysses and Nietzsche’s Thoughts Out of Season’.

She continues: ‘I made my own nut mylks, grew my herb garden, and tested every organic produce supplier that would deliver here. 

‘And if I’m not a better person now than I used to be couple months ago, I definitely am a thinner, and an inch and a half taller one. Can someone google and let me know if it’s permanent or will I have to continue to stretch for two hours every day to maintain?’

On watching self-help videos

‘For over twenty minutes, Eric is talking about the importance of taking re-entry to society seriously, while Joshua is explaining how he chose to move on and forgive himself for committing a murder in first degree and advises everyone to follow his lead. Basically the usual aspirational/motivational stuff.

‘My personal favorite is the ‘Do It (or Don’t)’ episode. It’s not always this easy, but it’s often this easy.

‘I skip ‘You’ve got a choice’ and ‘It’s all in the family,’ since incest is not a topic I wish to explore further. Finally, I find something that resonates with me—’Getting Past Addiction,’ which reminds me of that time I went to rehab and beat my sugar addiction. Sugar is hundred times more addictive than cocaine and is number one cause of craving more sugar, which leads to premature aging and death. I am a survivor.’

‘There’s a little bit of Anna in all of us,’ Spodek said. ‘This is the life she chose to live.’

Sorokin had ambitious business plans to build a private arts club in New York and that she was ‘persistent and she was determined to make her business a reality’, according to her attorney.

She may have led an unethical and unorthodox lifestyle, he added, but Sorokin was ‘enabled every step of the way by a system that favors people with money.’

In trying to prove Sorokin’s intent, Assistant District Attorney Catherine McCaw said Sorokin told ‘lie after lie’ to prolong a life of luxury she couldn’t afford, providing forged financial records and identifications to banks.

She lived out of ritzy hotels on an overdrawn account, dined at the finest restaurants and even hired a personal trainer who charged $300 a session, McCaw said.

Sorokin not only assumed a different identity for herself but created a team of ‘imaginary’ assistants, McCaw said, a ruse that lent credence to her efforts to expand her credit. There was, for instance, an accountant who didn’t exist whom Sorokin blamed for delays in wire transfers.

‘All of the defendant’s wire transfers are merely a figment of her imagination,’ McCaw said.

‘These are not white lies. These are lies that help you understand that the defendant, in fact, had criminal intent in this case.’  

Sorokin, who adopted the name Anna Delvey, deceived friends and financial institutions alike into believing she had a 60 million euro wealth overseas that would cover her lavish hotel stays and jet-setting lifestyle. 

Anna Delvey a.k.a. Anna Sorokin during her trip to Morocco. Prosecutors claim Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey, conned friends, banks and hotels out of hundreds of thousands

Many believed she was the German heiress she claimed to be given she traveled in celebrity circles and tossed around crisp $100 bills. 

But behind the jet-setting lifestyle and expensive designer clothing, prosecutors said Sorokin was simply a fraudster just trying to get a taste of the high life. 

Sorokin was born in Russia in 1991 and moved to Germany in 2007 when she was 16 with her younger brother and parents. 

Her father had worked as a truck driver and later as an executive at a transport company until it became insolvent in 2013. He then opened a heating-and-cooling business specializing in energy-efficient devices. 

After moving to London to attend Central Saint Martins fashion school, Sorokin returned to Berlin and interned in the fashion department of a public relations firm.

She then relocated to Paris where she secured a coveted internship at the French fashion magazine Purple. It’s believed to be around this time that she changed her name from Sorokin to Delvey.  

Sorokin was already brushing shoulders with rich people in the years before she came to New York and started dazzling Manhattan’s social elite.

Acquaintances say Sorokin had spent several years playing the part of an art-obsessed German heiress across the world.

She rubbed shoulders with the fashion elite at Paris Fashion Week as early as 2013 and was frequently spotted at London nightspots like the Chiltern Firehouse and Loulou’s. 

By the time Sorokin arrived in New York in early 2016, she seemingly had the social connections to make a name for herself, as well as a designer-clad wardrobe that exuded wealth.

At the time, she had 40,000 followers on Instagram and was regularly pictured at events and parties with well-to-do people.

Sorokin at her trial at the New York State Supreme Court on April 24, 2019

She quickly went about proving herself to be an impossibly rich heiress who had plans to shake up New York’s art world.

She made a show of proving she belonged and would regularly be decked out in her now signature Celine glasses, Gucci sandals and high-end buys from Net-a-Porter and Elyse Walker.

Sorokin rented a $400-a-night room for several months at Manhattan’s expensive 11 Howard hotel and was often seen to pass out $100 tips to concierges and Uber drivers.  

She would also splash out on shopping sprees in luxury boutiques, expensive personal training sessions and beautician appointments.

The socialite elite were drawn to her and she would regularly host large dinners for celebrities, artists, CEOs and the like at the lavish Le Coucou restaurant in SoHo.

Sorokin kept up the heiress ruse when she went looking for a $22 million loan to fund her new club in November 2016. 

Her fall from grace seemingly began when she was kicked out of the 11 Howard hotel in New York in early 2017, after racking up $30,000 of charges and failing to provide a working credit card. 

Around the same time she also chartered a private plane for a trip to Nebraska to try and meet billionaire Warren Buffet. 

However, the $35,400 bill was never paid so the charter company cancelled the return leg of her journey. 

Upon her return to New York, she was evicted from the 11 Howard hotel and moved to the Mercer hotel around the corner. 

She subsequently embarked on a $62,000 extravagant trip to Morocco. Her friend, a former Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Deloache Williams paid for the flights on her work credit card with the assumption she would be reimbursed as promised by Sorokin.  

They checked into a $7,000-a-night villa at the five star resort La Mamounia, which Williams also paid for, after Sorokin promised to pay her back when they returned to New York.  

The six-day trip was without hiccups for several days until the hotel staff insisted on putting a credit card on file because Sorokin had booked their trip without a working one. 

Williams, who said she had $410 in her checking account at the time said the $70,000 balance was more than she earned in a year.  

After months of hassling her for the money, Williams reported Sorokin to police and then the New York district attorney’s office.   

Sorokin was then arrested in October 2017 for stealing $275,000 through multiple scams between November 2016 and August 2017.    

At a parole board hearing in October 2019, Sorokin apologized for her crimes for the first time. 

‘I just want to say that I’m really ashamed and I’m really sorry for what I did,’ she said according to the transcript of the hearing, the New York Post reported. 

‘I completely understand that a lot of people suffered when I thought I was not doing anything wrong.’ 

She was granted parole and could be released as early as next month, Spodek said at the time. ‘Anna has paid her debt to society handsomely, and I hope society repays the favor,’ he said. 

That same month she took to Instagram to write a fiery post telling members of the public to stop visiting her in jail unannounced because it is ‘interfering with her sleeping schedule’ and that she is ‘kind of busy’.    

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