I’m friends with Anna Delvey
WHEN the highly anticipated drama Inventing Anna drops on Netflix today, there will be plenty of viewers who might think Anna Delvey’s story is entirely fictional.
The plot of a Russian truck driver’s daughter who comes to New York posing as a mysterious European heiress and swindles the banks and city socialites out of hundreds of thousands of dollars seems too far-fetched to be true. .
But for two years between 2016 and 2017, Delvey – real name Anna Sorokin – did just that.
Claiming to be worth millions, the woman who became known as New York’s ‘Con Queen’ rubbed shoulders with the city’s elite, lived in luxurious hotels and dined in the priciest restaurants, paying her way with stolen money.
It’s no wonder Netflix called in, paying 31-year-old Sorokin at least $320,000 (£236,865) for the rights to his life story.
Few people can claim to know the real Anna Sorokin, but the one who comes closest is 25-year-old Neffatari Davis.
She was working behind the concierge desk at the swanky boutique hotel in Soho, 11 Howard, when Sorokin came into her life.
“She told me her name was Anna Delvey and tipped me a hundred dollars just for telling her where the best places to eat were,” Netflix show consultant Neff said. at the Sun.
“She tipped whenever she needed a reservation or help with something.”
Sorokin was staying in a $400 a night room and was booked for a month.
Over the months that followed, the two women became good friends, which meant that Neff had a front-row seat to the crazy, chaotic and ridiculously lavish life that Sorokin was living – and the drama when it all came crashing down.
Neff first realized something was wrong when she went out to dinner with Sorokin at one of her favorite exclusive restaurants when the credit card she gave to the waiter was declined.
What happened next set off alarm bells.
Sorokin handed the waiter a list of other credit card numbers, insisting he had tried each one.
“They were all turned down,” Neff recalls. “I picked up the bill that night, which I remember was around $300. It might not have been that much for Anna, but it was a lot for me.
All of his credit cards declined. I paid the bill that night, which was around $300 – not that much for Anna, but a lot for me
Shortly after, Hotel 11 Howard realized it had no credit card on file for Sorokin – and his mounting bill, which included eating at the hotel’s fancy restaurant and charge to his room, had reached $30,000.
Poor Neff was accused of bringing up the subject with Sorokin, and after months of lies and talk about an elusive wire transfer from her bank in Switzerland, the money finally arrived.
Neff was relieved her friend had come, admitting, “I thought it was from her trust fund. She never went into details.
Instead, the money came from one of Sorokin’s favorite crooks, called “kite check”.
This involved opening accounts in his name at different banks, drawing a check from one account and depositing it in the other.
When the money appeared in the account, Sorokin quickly withdrew it before the banks realized the check was suspicious.
Falsified bank statements
On one occasion, Sorokin deposited $160,000 in NSF checks and managed to withdraw $70,000 before the banks could stop him.
Another tactic by Sorokin was to use bank statements she had falsified showing fake overseas assets with a total balance of 60 million euros, which she used to try to obtain loans from a million dollars from Manhattan banks for the creation of something she called the Anna Delvey. Foundation.
Although she was unsuccessful in obtaining the loans, the forged documents allowed her to get approved for an overdraft of $100,000 – which of course she had no intention of repaying.
According to the New York District Attorney’s Office, Sorokin’s scam money was paid into another personal expense account, which she used for $4,500 in training sessions with a celebrity trainer, shopping at Apple and Net-a-Porter and a trip to Marrakech. .
She stayed at a five-star luxury retreat, booking a $7,000-a-night private villa with a private pool and butler.
Neff recalls, “She asked me to take this trip with her, saying she would pay for everything.”
Wage of the year scam
Neff couldn’t take time off and stayed in New York while Sorokin flew out with her personal trainer, videographer and another friend, Rachel Williams.
However, after the group spent a few days there, hotel staff came to Sorokin and told her that the credit card she used to book the resort was useless.
When she was unable to produce a new form of payment, it was up to Rachel to pick up the $62,000 bill for the duration of their stay.
It was more money than she made in a year, and Sorokin told Rachel she would wire him $70,000 to cover everything, but she never saw the money again.
By the time Sorokin returned from Marrakech, management at 11 Howard had locked her out of her room and stored her belongings, saying they would be returned once her bill was paid in full.
Undeterred, Sorokin simply moved to another fancy hotel.
Anna is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and she’s a great example of what it means to live the dream in New York, by all means.
Three weeks into her stay there, management realized that the credit card she had originally presented was no longer valid and was not good for her bill of $11,518.59. .
Again, Sorokin was locked out of her room and her belongings confiscated.
Meanwhile, Sorokin’s check kiting activities tactic had reported her to the NYPD, and Rachel Williams had gone to the FBI.
On September 5, 2017, a warrant was issued for Sorokin’s arrest.
The NYPD tracked her down to a rehab facility in Malibu which, of course, claimed to be one of the most luxurious drug addiction centers in the world.
She had paid for the trip by “kiting” two more checks which brought her $8,200.
Finally, on May 9, 2019, Sorokin was sentenced to serve at least four years in prison with a maximum sentence of 12 years.
She was also ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution, as well as court fines of $24,000.
However, after serving only 21 months, she was released for good behavior.
“Prison is so exhausting”
It’s no coincidence that the Netflix show aired on February 11, one year to the day, when Sorokin went free and started documenting her life on Instagram again.
Before the law caught up with her in 2017, Sorokin’s Instagram page – @theannadelvey – was filled with images of her flaunting her luxurious lifestyle.
On February 12 last year, she posted an image of herself in bed, wearing giant sunglasses and wrote to her 77,000 followers: “Prison is so exhausting, you wouldn’t know it. “
But her posts came to an abrupt halt on March 23, when she was arrested again – this time by immigration and customs – for overstaying her visa.
This means Sorokin will see his story play out through prison bars.
Neff is convinced we haven’t heard Anna Delvey’s ending and thinks the series will be a big hit.
She says: “Anna is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met and she’s a great example of what it means to live the dream in New York, by all means.
“It makes for great television because so many people want that dream and want to know how to get it.”