"SoHo Scammer" Anna Sorokin Will Spend At Least 4 Years In Prison
BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday that "SoHo Scammer" Anna "Delvey" Sorokin has been sentenced to at least four years in prison. The 28-year-old con artist racked up massive bills by integrating herself into New York City’s social scene and posing as a German heiress, and was convicted of eight counts of fraud in April.
As Vanity Fair and The Cut reported, Sorokin claimed to have an enormously wealthy father and a trust fund worth tens of millions; in actuality, she’s the daughter of a Russian truck driver who came to the United States in 2016, according to the Daily Beast. Sorokin is accused of scamming businesses and friends out of $275,000 over the course of a 10-month period in New York, during which time she stayed in luxury hotels, went on expensive shopping sprees, and dined at upscale restaurants despite not being able to foot the bills.
Rachel Williams, who wrote the aforementioned Vanity Fair story, says that Sorokin invited her on a supposedly-free trip to Morocco, only to stick her with the $70,000 bill. Authorities arrested Sorokin several months later and charged her with grand larceny, theft of services, and several other charges. Sorokin was offered a plea deal in December that would have allowed her to be released from prison in early 2019, but she rejected it, and the case went to trial.
Sorokin was ultimately found guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. She was acquitted of one count of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny; according to the New York Times, those charges concerned the vacation bill Sorokin allegedly stuck Williams with and, separately, an alleged attempt by Sorokin to fraudulently obtain a $22 million loan from Fortress Investment Group.
“This is the most traumatic thing I have ever been through,” Williams said in court during Sorokin’s trial, according to Rolling Stone. “I wish I had never met Anna. If I could have gone back in time to not be where I am today, I would. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”
Sorokin’s story made international news. Two different television adaptations about her grift are currently in production; according to Decider, they are likely to air on Netflix and HBO, respectively. In addition, Bloomberg reported that Williams is writing a book about her experiences with Sorokin, tentatively titled My Friend Anna, that’s scheduled to be released by Gallery Books in July.
Although Sorokin received her share of criticism for the scheming, some argued that her conviction was evidence of women being punished more harshly than men for white-collar crimes. For instance, Sorokin’s sentence is much longer than that of Kareem Serageldin, the only Wall Street banker who went to jail in conjunction with the 2008 financial collapse. Writing in the Times, Ginia Bellafante noted that, prior to charging Sorokin, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had opted not to press charges against Harvey Weinstein or Dominique Strauss-Kahn, two powerful men who had been accused of sexual assault (Both Weinstein and Strauss-Kahn deny the allegations).
Sorokin was given what’s called an indeterminate sentence, according to Business Insider; in her case, that means she’ll be eligible for parole after four years, but could end up serving a maximum of 12 years. In addition to prison time, she was ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution and $24,000, and will be deported to Germany when she finishes her prison sentence.
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