The fraudster known as ‘the fake heiress’ takes criticism of her as a ‘sociopath’ as a compliment, she has revealed in her first post-prison interview.
Anna Sorokin, 30, a Russian-born German citizen who moved to the US in 2013 was charged with grand larceny after she conned the New York elite for several years, pretending to be a rich heiress called Anna Delvey. Her crimes earned her the nickname, ‘the fake heiress’.
She was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for her crimes in 2019, but was released early for good behaviour on February 11 and now temporarily lives at the NoMad luxury hotel in New York.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sorokin, who faces deportation in Germany, refused to say whether she was ashamed of her crimes.
She also responded to criticism from one of her victims, who described her as a “sociopath”.
“I actually see it as a compliment because they see Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and Steve Jobs as sociopaths, so if they mean it in that way, I’ll take it,” she said.
In her first interview since being released, she added that prison was a “pointless waste of time”, called the prosecution against her an “insult to her intelligence” and boasted that guards treated her like a “celebrity”.
She also described her time in prison as an intellectual challenge where she had to work out how she could get guards to get her things without being able to offer anything in exchange.
She also spoke of hierarchies within prison, describing “baby killers” as being at the bottom, adding that plenty of women are locked up because of their boyfriends’ crimes.
Sorokin was also asked about Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite currently in a New York jail on charges of trafficking girls for her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in 2019. “It feels a bit like they are using her because they cannot have [Epstein] and the prosecutors need someone to shame in public,” she said. “I feel like it’d have been different if he was still alive.”
Sorokin duped friends, hotels and even banks into giving her money between 2016 and 2017.
She pretended to be the daughter of a mysterious oil baron in Europe and lived an exorbitantly expensive lifestyle in Manhattan without ever actually paying for it.
Her lies began to unravel in 2017 after she took a friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams, a Vanity Fair photo editor, to Marrakesh with her, racked up thousands in charges at hotels and then gave her friend the $62,000 bill (£44,797).
Sorokin was arrested on six charges of grand larceny in 2017 for scamming New York acquaintances and hotels. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, her theft totals around $275,000 (£198,699).
In total, she spent 21 months in Rikers Island in New York – the prison which has housed other criminals such as Harvey Weinstein, and 20 months at Albion Correctional Facility, a prison for women in upstate New York.
Before her arrest, Sorokin convinced City National Bank to loan her $100,000 (£722, 54) and forged bank documents to obtain another loan of £22 million to fund the Anna Delvey Foundation, a private arts members club she hoped to open.
“I would not have stopped,” she said of her crimes. “They put me in prison, but that was the only way to stop me.”
She added that disliked being referred to as a fake heiress, and that it was not what she had set out to do when she embarked on her streak of fraud.
“I never felt like I came through pretending to be this heiress,” she said. “There are so many rich people in New York, so who gives a f***? No one cares,” she said, adding she’d never be able to impress with money in New York.
She referred to her crimes as cutting corners and shortcuts, but said she never expected to end up in prison for them.
Her lawyers are currently paying her hotel bills with money she received after striking a deal with the streaming platform Netflix for $320,000 (£231,213) – most of which is being used to repay her bank loans, fines and legal fees.
It was reported Sorokin used the prison phone to go on a shopping spree before getting out of jail, splashing on Celine sunglasses, a $720 (£520) Balenciaga hoodie and Alexander McQueen and Nike trainers.