A con artist who posed as a German heiress has been jailed for four to 12 years after swindling banks and hotels out of $200,000 (£153,000).
Anna Sorokin went by the name Anna Delvey as she defrauded banks and people in Manhattan celebrity circles into thinking she had a fortune of about $67m (£51.5m) to cover her jet-setting lifestyle, high-end clothing and lavish hotel stays.
The 28-year-old Russian-German posed for nearly a year as a Manhattan socialite and her scheme became known as the “summer of scam” in 2018 articles published in Vanity Fair and New York magazine.
But she was convicted last month of grand larceny and theft of services. She has been in custody since she was arrested in October 2017.
Sentencing her, Judge Diane Kiesel said she was “stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception”.
Sorokin claimed her father was a diplomat, or an oil baron and falsified bank records and forged her identity to further her scam.
She applied for a $22m (£6.8m) loan to fund a private arts club, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said.
Her application was denied but she persuaded one bank to loan her $100,000 (£76,800) which she failed to repay.
A banker told the court during her month long trial that Sorokin had been convincing because she used “financial jargon”. The loan was meant to be repaid within days.
Prosecutors accused her of stealing $275,000 (£212,000) in total, including a $34,500 (£26,500) bill she failed to pay for a plane she chartered to and from a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
She went to great lengths to make sure other people paid her way, as Catherine McCaw, prosecuting, said she had “not a cent to her name, as far as we can determine”.
Jurors at Manhattan Supreme Court acquitted her of two counts, including that she promised a friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco then gave her the $62,000 (£47,600) bill.
She was also found not guilty of one of the most serious charges in the indictment – attempting to steal more than $1m (£768,000) from City National Bank.
Sorokin was convicted of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny.
During her sentencing, she addressed the court saying: “I apologise for the mistakes I made.”
Her attorney Todd Spodek told the court she had been “buying time” and intended to settle the debts. He said she lacked criminal intent and was an ambitious entrepreneur.
She also faces deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa.
Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, is planning a television series charting Sorokin’s alleged crimes.
Source: SKY NEWS