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Dublin: 20 °C Saturday 30 May, 2020

New York socialite who falsely claimed to be an heiress convicted of stealing over $200,000

Anna Sorokin deceived friends and financial institutions into believing she had a fortune.

Anna Sorokin sits at the defence table during jury deliberations in her trial
Anna Sorokin sits at the defence table during jury deliberations in her trial
Image: Richard Drew/AP

A GERMAN-RUSSIAN socialite who passed herself off as an heiress has been convicted by a court in New York for stealing over $200,000 from individuals, banks and hotels.

Anna Sorokin was found guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a month-long trial.

Using the name Anna Delvey, the 28 year-old deceived friends and financial institutions into believing she had a fortune of about $67 million (€60 million) that could cover her high-end clothing, luxury hotel stays and trans-Atlantic travel.

She claimed her father was a diplomat or an oil baron and went to extraordinary lengths to have others pay her way.

Prosecutors alleged that she promised one friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco, but then landed her with the $62,000 bill — although Sorokin was acquitted of that charge.

She also was accused of forging financial records in an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club that would double as a nightclub that she wanted to build.

She was denied the loan, but persuaded one bank to lend her $100,000, which she failed to repay.

She now faces up to 15 years in prison after being accused of stealing a total of $275,000, as well as deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on 9 May.

“As proven at trial, Anna Sorokin committed real white-collar felonies over the course of her lengthy masquerade,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement announcing the conviction.

Sorokin’s lawyer Todd Spodek likened her to Frank Sinatra, saying: “In a city that favors money and the appearance of money… they both created their own opportunities.”

He added that Sorokin was “upset, as anyone would be” following the verdict, but said he was pleased that she was acquitted of attempting to steal more than $1 million from a bank.

With additional reporting from Associated Press.

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