- Anna Delvey was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for her fake heiress scam.
- Delvey was convicted of eight charges related to a scheme where she tried to get socialites and bankers to give her more than $US22 million.
- In her sentencing, Judge Diane Kiesel said Delvey showed no remorse. Delvey threw tantrums about her clothing that repeatedly held up the trial.
- “I am stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception,” Kiesel said.
- She’ll also have to pay $US200,000 in restitution and another $US24,000 in fines. ICE plans to deport her to Germany after her sentence.
- Delvey’s scheme is the subject of dueling projects from HBO and Netflix. The money Netflix spent on her life story rights will go toward a fund for her victims.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Socialite scammer Anna Delvey will serve at least four years in prison, a New York City judge decided on Thursday.
The decision came two weeks after Delvey’s monthlong trial, in which a local jury convicted her on eight charges of theft, larceny, and attempted theft and larceny.
Jurors determined that Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, perpetrated along-running scam where she pretended to be a German heiress, tried to trick banks into giving her more than $US22 million in loans, and concocted an imaginary $US60 million fortune to swindle bankers, hotels, and socialites. Her defence attorney, Todd Spodek, argued that she was just trying to “fake it ’til she made it” to get a loan to fund the Anna Delvey Foundation, a proposed mixed-use art and restaurant space near Gramercy Park.
In her sentencing decision, Judge Diane Kiesel said Delvey showed little remorse during the trial. She was more upset over her outfits – breaking down in tears and delaying the trial over tantrums because of her clothing – than when the witnesses she scammed appeared on the stand to testify against her.
“I am stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception,” she said. “Ms. Sorokin didn’t have big money. All she had was a big scam.”
Kiesel said the 561 days Delvey spent on Rikers Island will be credited toward her sentence. She also ordered that she pay $US198,956.19 in restitution and $US24,000 in fines.
Kiesel’s sentencing, known as an indeterminate sentence, allows Delvey to apply for parole after serving the minimum term of four years, with a maximum term of 12 years.
“I apologised for the mistakes I made,” Delvey told the judge.
The sentence is what Catherine McCaw, the lead Manhattan Assistant District Attorney trying the case, asked for. It’s slightly below the 15-year maximum sentence for the charges on which Delvey was convicted.
Todd Spodek, Delvey’s attorney, called McCaw’s request “draconian” and asked Kiesel to give his client time served, telling the judge it was “an opportunity for you to do criminal justice reform.” He pointed out that Delvey was not a violent criminal, and that this was the first time she was convicted of anything.
“I’ve had numerous conversations about her future and that the same skillset that allowed her to get this far in life can be used in a productive and positive way,” he said.
Before the sentencing, Spodek gave Kiesel letters from three people he said were Delvey’s family members asking for a lenient sentence.
Given the lies Delvey told, Kiesel said, she couldn’t be sure they were legitimate.
“For all I know, these letters are from Bettina Wagner,” Kiesel said, referring to another persona Delvey invented to pull off her scheme. “If this came from your client, I don’t know where it comes from.”
Dueling Netflix and HBO projects about Delvey are in the works
During the trial, Delvey was acquitted on two of the 10 charges prosecutors brought against her.
One of the acquitted charges was for allegedly scamming Rachel Williams, a former Vanity Fair photo editor she took on a trip to Morocco – and then stuck with the $US62,000 bill.
Williams is due to come out with a book in July about her experience, adapted from a long Vanity Fair article she published in April 2017. Her experience is also being adapted into an HBO project with Lena Dunham.
Netflix is also working on a series about Delvey’s ordeal, based on a New York magazine article that first brought Delvey’s scam to widespread attention.
Netflix purchased the rights to Delvey’s life story for the project, sources with knowledge of the deal told INSIDER, but the money will go toward the restitution fund.
Following Delvey’s prison term, Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to deport her to Germany, where she is a citizen. Employees of the German consulate were present in the Manhattan Supreme Court courtroom where Delvey was sentenced.
McCaw, who declined to speak to reporters throughout the trial, left the courtroom smiling. After Kiesel announced her sentence, Spodek told reporters in the hallway outside that Delvey would be sent back to Rikers Island before being moved to a prison upstate.
“She’s a very tough woman,” he said. “I’m sure this is not the last we’ll hear from her.”
In her remarks from the bench, Kiesel blasted Delvey’s “sizable internet following,” saying that she hopes the sentence will show that “her behaviour is unacceptable and there are consequences.”
“While she was awaiting trial she worried about who would play her in the Netflix or HBO program we were told were in the works,” she said. “I don’t see any indication she ever sat in jail thinking about all the cheating, the stealing, and the lying her phony persona and lifestyle kept afloat for years. And certainly, she didn’t think about the people she scammed.”
This article has been updated.
- Read more:
- 2 years ago, 26-year-old Anna Delvey was on a $US62,000 vacation in Morocco. Now she’s facing 15 years in prison for her elaborate ‘fake heiress’ scam.
- ‘You’re starting to sound like a fraud’: A former Vanity Fair editor who says she was scammed by Anna Delvey testified against the fake heiress
- Netflix is paying for the rights to fake heiress Anna Delvey’s life story
- Fake heiress Anna Delvey lied about her identity to try to get $US22 million. Her lawyer says the plan was too inept to send her to prison.
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