Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin gets 4-12 years behind bars in New York fraud case

The 28-year-old Anna Sorokin was found guilty last month of swindling some $200,000 through a series of scams. She was convicted of grand larceny and theft of services


                            Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin gets 4-12 years behind bars in New York fraud case

By JIM MUSTIAN

NEW YORK:

A judge has sentenced the fake German heiress Anna Sorokin to four to 12 years behind bars for defrauding New York banks and hotels. Judge Diane Kiesel says she was "stunned by the depth of the defendant's deception" at the sentencing on May 9 afternoon in the Manhattan state court.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it will seek to deport Sorokin to Germany following her release from state custody. ICE said Sorokin overstayed her 2017 visa. The 28-year-old was found guilty last month of swindling some $200,000 through a series of scams. She was convicted of grand larceny and theft of services.

Prosecutors said she overdrew a bank account and forged financial records to further the ruse. Sorokin's attorney insisted she intended to pay the money back. But prosecutors said she has "not a cent" to her name.

It was reported earlier that the German con artiste had passed herself off as a wealthy heiress and swindled tens of thousands of dollars from New York banks and hotels.

Her defense attorney, Todd Spodek, had said Sorokin faced up to 15 years in prison on the most serious charge. She has been in custody since her October 2017 arrest.

Sorokin went by the name Anna Delvey when she defrauded financial institutions and Manhattan celebrity circles into believing she had a fortune of about $67 million (60 million euros) overseas that could cover her jet-setting lifestyle, high-end clothing and lavish hotel stays. The 28-year-old falsely claimed her father was a diplomat or an oil baron, and falsified bank records and forged her identity to further the scam.

Her ruse included an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said. She was denied that loan but persuaded one bank to lend her $100,000 that she failed to repay.

In all, prosecutors accused her of stealing some $275,000, including a $35,400 bill she failed to pay for a plane she chartered to and from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

But jurors acquitted her of two counts, including an allegation that she promised a friend an all-expenses-paid trip to Morocco and then stuck her with the $62,000 bill. She was also found not guilty of one of the most serious charges in the indictment: attempting to steal more than $1 million from City National Bank.

Manhattan jurors did convict Sorokin of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a monthlong trial that drew international attention and tabloid headlines about Sorkin's courtroom fashion.

Spodek, the defense attorney, argued that Sorokin had been "buying time" and planned to settle her debts. He said she lacked criminal intent and was an ambitious entrepreneur.