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Oct 11, 2018

She Lived the Life Of A Millionaire, Until They Uncovered Her Scam

She Lived the Life Of A Millionaire, Until They Uncovered Her Scam

Anna Delvey lived a glamorous life. She rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the world even though no one ever knew who she really was. Many assumed, as she told them, that she was a rich German heiress that moved from city to city, freely spending money as she pleased. That assumption would turn out to be the exact opposite of who Anna really was. She fooled everyone and lived like a queen while doing it. Read on to discover the amazing tale of Anna Delvey, the millionaire socialite that didn’t have a cent to her name.

1. A Mysterious Woman

Anna Delvey was a woman who everyone in the New York socialite scene used to know. If one were to ask where she came from, it’s unlikely that anyone would get the same answer twice. She appeared in the Soho socialite scene and cunningly placed herself in all the places people wanted to be.
According to the people who knew her, she was always in the right place at the right time. She also knew all the right people. Those people were helping her reach an ambitious goal, but ultimately would lead to her downfall as well.

2. A Wealthy Heiress

Anna Delvey didn’t have a permanent address. She simply flitted from hotel to hotel, occasionally leaving the country to restart her tourist visa. When Anna moved into a new boutique Soho hotel at 11 Howard Street, she quickly gained a reputation.
Just from looking at Anna you could tell that she came from money. That was also reflected in the way she acted. She acted like she could do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. That was among one of the reasons why the hotel hadn’t even asked her for a credit card.

3. The High Life

Anna Delvey lived the life of a celebrity, handing out $100 tips like it was nothing and always wearing high-end designer clothing. She quickly made friends with the concierge at 11 Howard, a young woman named Neffatari Davis, known as Neff for short.
Neff was intrigued from the moment Anna Delvey walked into the hotel. She was staying for a month, an unusually long time. It was something that only wealthy celebrities did. Each time she came down to the concierge desk, there was a $100 bill waiting for Neff.

4. A Soho Socialite

To Neff Davis, Anna Delvey seemed to fit the perfect profile of a Soho socialite and someone that she should get as close to as possible. Neff was a budding cinematographer and Anna’s connections could only help further her career.
Anna would come down to the desk to ask for recommendations on places to eat or places to go, but it quickly became apparent that Anna already knew the best places to go. She even knew the owners, bartenders and waiters. So why was she getting so close to Neff?

5. A Friend

It quickly dawned on Neff that Anna Delvey wasn’t a guest that needed her information, but rather wanted her time. She wanted a friend at the hotel and that’s exactly what she got. As Anna and Neff grew closer, so did the danger.
“You just sit there and listen, because that’s your concierge life,” Neff later recalled. The interactions weren’t foreign to her, but it was the first time that she stayed friends with a guest outside of work hours. Pretty soon they were going out to restaurants and clubs together.

6. $100 Bills

Anna gained a reputation as one of the most generous guests at the 11 Howard hotel by giving $100 tips. “People would fight to take her packages upstairs,” said Neff. “Fight, because you knew you were getting $100.”
Anna Delvey knew that money spoke louder than words and she was never short of her $100 bills. She paid for everything in cash and exclusively $100 bills. No one knew where her money came from, nor did they ask.

7. Princess On Vacation?

“She gave to everyone,” said Neff. “Uber drivers, $100 cash. Meals — listen. You know how you reach for your credit card? She wouldn’t let me.” Anna Delvey even got a personal trainer/life-coach for the small price of $4,500.
With all the money Anna threw around it was obvious that she was very wealthy, and from her European accent, it was assumed that she was the daughter of a wealthy European family and going to inherit millions. Anna seemed like a princess who was just taking a vacation away from her castle.

8. Celeb Friends

Apart from befriending Neff Davis, Anna Delvey took to organizing and hosting large dinners at Le Coucou, a nearby expensive French restaurant. The events were amazingly star-studded. In attendance were CEOs, artists, athletes and even celebrities.
Anna’s new gal-pal Neff was, of course, invited to attend the dinners. One night she even found herself seated next to Macaulay Culkin, an experience she called described as awkward. “I had so many questions. And he was right there. But they were talking about, like, friend stuff. So I never got the chance to be like, ‘So, you the godfather to Michael Jackson’s kids?’”

9. A Way With People

Anna Delvey had a secret power of persuasion. She knew people and how to get in good with them. On the outside, she looked like a typical girl, in many ways unremarkable. But she had a way with people.
One man who met Anna at Paris Fashion Week described her as a sweet and polite girl who simply introduced herself and then all of a sudden she was just hanging out with his friends and making conversation. That was Anna’s main asset: she was a people person.

10. The Right Places

According to those who knew Anna, “She managed to be in all the sort of right places.” She showed up to a Berlin party on a private jet wearing the fanciest of clothing. No one knew where her wealth came from, though.
“There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” said a marketing director named Saleh who knew Anna. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.” But as people would soon find out, Anna was one person you didn’t want to know.

11. Michael Xufu Huang

Anna met Michael Xufu Huang, a highly successful art collector and museum founder, at an art show and the two immediately bonded. So much so that they decided to take a trip to Italy to celebrate the Venice Biennale together.
Anna asked Michael to put the flight and hotel on his credit card, something that he found “a little weird.” She, of course, promised to pay him back. Michael didn’t think much of it at the time, considering that it wasn’t a lot of money for him. But would she ever pay him back?

12. Venice

While in Italy Michael thought it was odd that Anna Delvey paid for everything in cash. It was odd… but still not a red flag that something was amiss. Then the trip came to an end. And when it came time to pay Michael back…
She seemingly forgot all about it. This, however, was nothing new to Michael. He was familiar with the super-rich. And when you’re super-rich, you can afford to be forgetful of seemingly minor details. After some time, Michael forgot too.

13. The Birthday Bash

For Anna’s Birthday, she decided to go all out and throw herself a party to remember. She hired a PR firm to organize everything and make sure loads of successful people showed up. She also invited Michael, her super-rich friend.
The party was a success and everything seemingly went well, until afterward. Michael received a message a few days after the party asking for Anna Delvey’s contact information because “she didn’t pay her bill.” And that’s when Michael realized… Anna isn’t who she appeared to be.

14. Origin Theories

Just who was Anna Delvey, and where did she come from? People began to wonder. No one was quite sure, and everyone who knew her had a different story about where they thought she came from and where her wealth came from.
One friend stated that Anna Delvey’s father was a diplomat to Russia and that she had “family money.” Another friend was told that her father was an oil-industry titan. But just who was the real Anna Delvey and what was she up to?

15. Speculations

Another friend was certain that her family was big into antiques in Germany, and that’s where her wealth came from. But unfortunately, all of the theories were wrong. Anna Delvey (if that really was her real name) would surprise everyone in the end.
The speculations didn’t bother Anna. In fact, it was the opposite. The more people wondered who and where she came from, the more intrigue there was surrounding her. And she wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of fulling her ultimate goal.

16. The ADF

Anna Delvey’s goal was to establish an exclusive club featuring art called The Anna Delvey Foundation, or ADF for short. She even hired a creative director, London-based Marc Kremers, to help her with the branding of her new venture. After scouting spots for the new club, she eventually found the perfect location.
Anna decided that she would take on the redevelopment of a location at 281 Park Avenue South. The only catch? She would need to take out millions of dollars in loans. So through her connections, she found someone willing to help her.

17. Empty Promises

Anna’s financial partner, who was helping her to purchase the location, wrote in an email that she needed the loan because “her personal assets, which are quite substantial, are located outside the US, some of them in a trust with UBS outside the US.”
Anna Delvey promised that she had the resources necessary to pay. She also promised not to embarrass the firm in any way — promises that she wouldn’t exactly be able to keep. She continued trying to purchase the location.

18. Martin Shkreli

As financial concerns grew, Anna Delvey started fundraising and inviting wealthier guests to her dinner events. One of the guests she got close to was notorious “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, the man who came under fire when his company raised the price of a critical medication from $13 to $750. He was later convicted of securities fraud and is currently serving prison time.
“Anna did seem to be a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone,” Shkreli wrote. “Even though I was nationally known, I felt like a computer geek next to her.” Anna also picked up a few tricks from Shkreli, tricks that she would later use for revenge.

19. Unraveling Begins

Anna was very serious about the opening of her supposed foundation. “She was always on the phone with lawyers,” said Neff, who would overhear conversations at the hotel. “They were always toning her down. Like, ‘Anna, you’re trying to make something that’s worth this much be worth that much, and that’s just not how it works.’ ”
Then one night Anna asked Neff out to dinner and when it came time to pay the bill, it was clear that she was having cash issues. She even tried to pay with around 12 credit cards… all of them were declined. That’s when things started unraveling for Anna Delvey.

20. Payment Problems Abound

Not only was Anna Delvey having cash-flow issues, she had a much larger issue on her hands. She still hadn’t paid for her stay at 11 Howard. In fact, they didn’t even have a credit card on file for her.
The hotel had been treating Anna Delvey as a valued guest, being that she was a German heiress and a client of the hotel’s owner (the owner owned the location she was attempting to purchase) so the hotel agreed to accept a wire transfer for payment. But after a month and a half, still no payment had been made.

21. Over Her Head

The hotel’s manager asked Neff to deal with the delicate issue of Anna’s bill, considering that they were close friends after all. Anna owed the hotel around $30,000. Neff still believed that Anna was good for the money and went to talk to her about it.
Anna promised that a wire transfer was on the way from the bank. But what she didn’t reveal to Neff was how much she was in over her head. Things were falling apart for Anna. But then a few days later something amazing happened.

22. No More Games

The hotel received a wire transfer on behalf of Anna Delvey in the amount of $30,000. And suddenly everything was back to normal for the young socialite. Or at least that is what she thought. She was in for a rude awakening.
The hotel still hadn’t received a working credit card number for Anna’s room. With bills racking up daily, the hotel was done playing games. They demanded a valid credit card, and if none would be provided, they threatened to change the code on her room.

23. Rude Awakening

When no credit card was provided, the code to her room was changed, locking her out. Anna Delvey was furious, she couldn’t believe that she was being treated like a commoner. That’s when she pulled out a trick that she learned from Martin Shkreli.
She told the hotel managers that she would purchase web domains in all of their names so that they would have to pay her one day to get them. But in the meantime, Anna was off on a vacation to Morocco with her personal trainer (who remained unnamed), and a videographer named Rachel Williams.

24. Morocco

The trip to Morocco was also rife with issues. Anna’s personal trainer got food poisoning and returned to the US early. A few days later, the trainer got a call from a hysterical Anna. According to Anna, her credit card wasn’t going through.
The manager at the hotel was threatening to call the police and have her arrested. So she pleaded with the personal trainer to let her use her credit card and pay her back. That card also didn’t go through. After another card didn’t go through, the hotel conceded that perhaps there was an issue on their end.

25. Kicked Out

When Anna returned to the US, she moved into another hotel. But the same issue occurred again. She couldn’t provide a valid credit card to pay her $11,518 debt, so she was eventually kicked out and her belongings were confiscated. Anna was now on the streets of New York City. Once a socialite, now homeless.
Anna did her hotel scheme once more, but only got away with it for a few days before she was kicked out, like at the hotels before. Anna begged her personal trainer to let her spend the night at her place, making vague suicide threats. The trainer didn’t really want her there and had a date over at the time but felt it was an emergency situation.

26. A Friend Scammed

So, just how did Anna Delvey end up paying for that expensive hotel in Morocco? The bill landed on Rachael Williams. After being threatened with jail time she was forced to put $62,000 on her American Express card, more than she makes in a year.
When the trainer found out that her friend had been forced to foot the bill, she was furious. That was the last straw. She realized that she knew nothing about who Anna Delvey really was and that they had been duped.

27. Unwelcome

Anna’s trainer told the alleged German heiress socialite to leave her house. But Anna left her laptop behind, perhaps in an attempt to come back and stay. But the trainer wasn’t about to fall for the childish tactic. She left the computer at the front desk for Anna to collect.
But Anna Delvey didn’t just come to get her computer; she came and she stayed in the lobby, insisting to see her trainer. Even though the trainer was home, she refused to let her up. That’s when things really started to get bad for Anna.

28. The First Arrest

Anna was soon arrested for her outstanding hotel bills. “WANNABE SOCIALITE BUSTED FOR SKIPPING OUT ON PRICEY HOTEL BILLS,” the newspapers heralded as soon as they caught wind of the story. Anna found herself a lawyer and got out on bail. From there it was back to the usual.
She somehow gathered some funds and took a trip to California where she was arrested again, in Malibu. She was forced to return to New York “to face six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, in addition to theft of services.”

29. The Truth

Anna was sent to Rikers Island jail without bail this time. She is currently awaiting trial and faces three to nine years in prison. And as it turned out, she wasn’t a German heiress after all. Her real name was Anna Sorokin and she was born in Russia in 1991. Her family later moved to Germany in 2007.
And she was certainly no heiress. She came from a working-class family. When they were asked about a trust fund, they reportedly said that it was the first that they ever heard of such a fund. Meaning, it doesn’t exist.

30. Netflix

Anna is currently awaiting trial and there is going to be a Netflix series made based on her life. One of the judges in the case has said that Anna is more concerned with who will be playing her in the series than her crimes. He added that she had zero remorse for what she did.
“This place is not that bad at all actually,” Anna said in regards to being held at Rikers. “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” Even her lawyer said that Anna appears to be doing very well in prison. So how did she manage to swindle so many people?

31. How She Did It

Experts on Anna’s case believe Anna Sorokin allegedly scammed people and numerous banks and hotels out of around $275,000. She allegedly used falsified documents to acquire loans from banks. Those documents showed that she had millions of dollars in banks in Europe.
She also floated bad checks between banks and took out lines of credit that she had no way of paying back. Perhaps her plan was to pay it all back after her business took off the ground. But that would be wishful thinking.

32. How’s Rikers?

The wannabe socialite busted for racking up massive bills at swanky Manhattan hotels by pretending to be a German heiress has spoken out for the first time — saying in an interview from Rikers Island that the transition from social butterfly to jailbird hasn’t been that difficult. “This place is not that bad at all actually,” Anna Sorokin tells New York magazine in a new deep dive into her double life as glitterati gal “Anna Delvey.” “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment … This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy,” the 27-year-old continued, adding that she is also fascinated by the murderers she’s locked up with.

33. “Wannabe Businesswoman”

The Russia-born Sorokin in January was charged with scamming banks, businesses and a friend out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for free hotel stays and designer duds. But she claims it was all in the service of realizing her grandiose plan of opening a six-story “arts club” in Gramercy Park called the Anna Delvey Foundation, which was to be filled with pop-up shops, art installations, three restaurants, a juice bar and a German bakery, the magazine reports. And she resents The Post labeling her a “wannabe socialite” when she’s really a wannabe businesswoman.

34. Delvey Origin

“I was never trying to be a socialite,” she says. “I had dinners, but they were work dinners. I wanted to be taken seriously.” And even from behind bars, she still insists it was a viable plan — and hates that the district attorney has portrayed her as “a greedy idiot.” “I had what I thought was a great team around me, and I was having fun,” she told New York, adding that the things she did wrong “doesn’t diminish the hundred things I did right.” Born in Russia and raised in Germany, the college dropout first secured an internship at trendy French fashion magazine Purple, where she created the “Delvey” persona and exploited the contacts she made to launch herself into New York’s social scene, according to the report.

35. Staying Under The Radar

During the internship, Sorokin even duped her former truck driver dad into paying for her lifestyle. “We always paid for her accommodations, her rent, and other matters. She assured us these costs were the best investment. If ever she needed something more at one point or another, it didn’t matter. The future was always bright,” her father, who asked to remain anonymous, told the magazine. In her new life as Anna Delvey, she tipped in $100 bills, lived out of hotels and traveled the world attending art and fashion festivals — rubbing shoulders with high flyers who accepted her sketchy backstories that variously included her father being a diplomat to Russia, an oil tycoon and an antique dealer.

36. Realizing She Wasn’t Legit

Young Chinese art collector Michael Xufu Huang agreed to go to the Venice Biennale with Sorokin and to put the plane tickets and hotel rooms on his credit card — but didn’t suspect anything was amiss until a restaurant called him to ask if he had Sorokin’s contact details because she’d skipped out on a bill for a big birthday bash. “Then I realized, Oh my God, she is not legit,” he told the magazine. In 2016, Sorokin began using her elite social connections to start building her planned private club — assembling a cast of unwitting helpers that included the son of famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Nobu co-founder Richie Notar, and a partner at real estate law firm Gibson Dunn who attempted to find her investors, New York reports.

37. Her Victims Are Too Embarrassed To Come Forward

She also started hanging out with “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who told New York — via letter from federal prison — that she seemed like “a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone.” She created a fake family financial adviser named “Peter Hennecke” who promised payments in wire transfers — then killed him off when the London designer she’d hired to do the club’s branding demanded the $22,000 he was owed. But the house of cards, built on bad checks and unpaid debts, eventually fell apart as hotels went after Sorokin for her outstanding bills — and a bank she’d allegedly duped into lending her $100,000 started investigating her supposed assets. Multiple people tell New York that Sorokin’s debts may be far larger than reported — but her victims are too embarrassed to come forward.


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