'Inventing Anna': Is the Netflix series based on true story of a 'con artist'?
'Inventing Anna' is based on a true story of a 'con artist' Anna 'Delvey' Sorokin who did a lot of frauds
If there’s one genre that has been completely revamped by modern-day filmmakers, then it is true crime. In recent years, we have seen a lot of projects based on crimes that actually took place and were accomplished by some of the most notorious criminals. Netflix has an abundance of such titles and it keeps on expanding the catalog to treat its viewers with content that keeps them at the edge of their seats.
The streaming platform is once again ready to introduce the world to one such project that will blow everyone’s mind. Titled ‘Inventing Anna’, the upcoming series revolves around a real-life person named Anna “Delvey” Sorokin (Julia Garner) who used to con rich and influential people by telling them that she was a German heiress. What the world witnessed next was a series of crimes that made her one of the most notorious criminals in the history of the US.
The mini-series seems to be a worthy addition to Netflix’s catalog that already consists of true-crime projects like ‘Unbelievable’, ‘When They See Us’, and ‘Narcos’. But, how did Anna manage to break into socialite circles and tricked people to get money out of them? Let’s dig a little deeper and get to know more about Anna and the entire story.
Who is Anna “Delvey” Sorokin?
Born on January 23, 1991, Anna Sorokin stepped foot in New York during the summer of 2013. She was there to attend the New York Fashion Week and thought that it would be easier for her to make friends there. At that time, she was working with the fashion magazine ‘Purple’ and requested her seniors to transfer her from Paris to New York.
After working there for a brief amount of time, she decided to set up a foundation named ‘Anna Delvey Foundation’. It was a private members’ club and arts foundation meant for the rich and affluent. This is how her journey as a “con artist” started. She would go to big events and tell people that she has a multimillion-dollar trust fund. Sorokin, in many instances, has revealed that she would go on to tell others that her father was a renowned diplomat or an oil baron.
Her lifestyle was the biggest reason that made everyone believe that she indeed was a German royalty. She used to live lavishly, travel in costly yachts and private jets, and spend money on other people as well to make everyone see what she wanted them to see.
What were Anna Delvey Sorokin’s crimes? And how did she do it?
Sorokin used to meet the private jet operators and banks in order to make money. The con artist was notorious for forging bad cheques, then withdrawing money before the cheques bounced. On the other hand, she used a lot of fake documents to convince the banks for overdrawing.
Her pitch of setting up a foundation had little success, so decided to obtain the money required through alternative means. She created fake bank statements purporting to show that she had access to about €60 million stored in Swiss bank accounts. Sorokin submitted these documents to apply for a $22 million loan from LA’s City National Bank. But the loan amount was never credited because Sorokin failed to show bank statements that assured the bank that she really had assets in the Swiss Bank.
How did she get caught?
One of her victims, Rachel Deloache Williams, was a former photo editor and worked with Vanity Fair. Sorokin met her and asked her if she would want to go to Morocco with her. With a promise that she would return the money to her, Williams ended up paying up for the airplane tickets, and hotel as well. When the vacation ended, Williams had already spent $62,000 and was infuriated.
She was desperate to get her money back, but she couldn’t contact Sorokin. However, she thought enough is enough now and went to Manhattan’s assistant district attorney. A hearing date was scheduled in the matter and by that time, Sorokin was also getting booted out of the hotels for not paying the dues.
Sorokin was eventually arrested on six charges of grand larceny in July 2017 in Malibu, California, where she had checked into a ritzy rehab center.
How many years did she spend behind the bars?
Sorokin was arrested by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on October 3, 2017. The trial went for almost two years and in May 2019, the jury found her guilty on four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny, and one count of attempted grand larceny. She received four to 12 years in prison.
Additionally, she had to pay a fine of $24,000 and a restitution order to pay $199,000. She was released from jail in February 2021, however, she was once again taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying her visa. As of now, she is still in the custody of ICE and is waiting for her deportation to Germany.
The Netflix series based on Anna “Delvey” Sorokin will be premiering exclusively on Friday, February 11. ‘Ozark’ star Julia Garner will be playing the role of Anna Sorokin in the limited series.