She spent years masquerading as the daughter of a German trust fund billionaire on the New York social scene before a spectacular downfall that led to prison time, but now the so-called ‘fake heiress’ Anna Sorokin is a free woman.
In 2019 she was found guilt of theft of services and grand larceny, after scamming more than $200,000 out of hotels, restaurants, banks and even friends.
It comes after she finally apologised for her crimes at her parole hearing last year, with the New York Post reporting her as saying: ‘I just want to say that I’m really ashamed and I’m really sorry for what I did. I completely understand that a lot of people suffered when I thought I was not doing anything wrong.’
Arriving in New York in 2013, the 30-year-old conned people into thinking she was an heiress worth $60 million, who was raising funds for a new social club. She quickly established herself on the social scene through lavish spending on designer clothing as well as stays at some of the best hotels – including The Beekman and W New York – plus hiring private jets and helicopters from Blade. She left behind unpaid bills and tabs at all of these establishments, reportedly employing the tactic of giving generous cash tips to appear wealthy.
In May 2019, she was sentenced to spend between four and 12 years in prison for her crimes, whilst also being ordered to pay her victims $198,956.19 in restitution. She showed very little regret for the crimes during her trial and told The Times: ‘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.’
Indeed, during her sentencing, she seemed more concerned with her fashion choices than her crimes, employing a court stylist, and even refusing to appear before a judge because she didn’t like her outfit.
Her story is the subject of two upcoming series, one on Netflix by Shonda Rhimes and another on HBO, based on the book by Sorokin’s former friend, journalist Rachel Deloache Williams.
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