Among the first things Anna Sorokin, the scammer who posed as a fake heiress under the name Anna Delvey, did when she was released from prison on parole yesterday was post to Instagram. “Prison is so exhausting, you wouldn’t know,” Sorokin wrote under her first post-incarceration selfie. In the photo, she’s in a white robe with black sunglasses and perched atop a freshly made bed. Sorokin quickly opened a Twitter account and posted a new entry on her website AnnaDelveyDiaries.com.
Anyone thinking that Sorokin might choose to fade quietly into obscurity after her high-profile arrest was thoroughly mistaken. She’s clearly aiming to stay in the public.
Unlike other scammers of her sort (like, say, Fyre Festival’s Billy McFarland), the public fascination around Sorokin is a bit more nuanced. To some, she’s even a folk hero. Sorokin, a Russian-born German citizen of humble means, infiltrated New York’s more monied and stylish by posing as a wealthy heiress. Not only did she directly scam those who were in her circle, but Sorokin also failed to make good on a $100,000 loan from a bank and left the tab for stays at fancy hotels unpaid. Many viewed her as something a modern Manhattan Robin Hood: scamming the rich to keep the poor in designer clothes (even if she was the only poor person in question). Netflix is currently in production for a Shonda Rhimes-produced series based on her story. Lena Dunham has the rights to another take on the tale. And interest in Sorokin only continues to grow.
But where does that leave the woman herself? Now freed from jail, what might be her next moves and can she profit off her notoriety?
First, She’s Intent On Paying Her Debts
While she says she has some regrets, Sorokin has maintained that she’s not particularly sorry for the larger narrative of who tale and feels she didn’t do anything illegal. “I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything,” she once told the New York Times. “I regret the way I went about certain things.” She says she actually always intended to repay those debts. According to Insider, Sorokin has already repaid almost $200,000 to a bank and intends on settling more debts. Of course, she was ordered by a court to pay restitution. However, there were allegations made against Sorokin that she was never formally convicted. A former friend, Rachel Williams, claimed she once lent $62,000 to Sorokin which she never recovered (Williams, however, wrote a book on the friendship and sold the rights to HBO).
Will She Make Money Off The Netflix Deal?
The upcoming Netflix show Inventing Anna is based on the New York magazine article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” by Jessica Pressler (yes, the same journalist who brought us the story that inspired Hustlers). Though, as part of the wider agreement, Sorokin brokered her own deal for a flat $100,000 fee alongside smaller per-episode payments for royalties and consulting on the project.
In a rare move, New York’s attorney general invoked the “Son of Sam” law to make sure that money is routed to her victims.
It’s worth noting, however, that New York’s current Son of Sam law is not as restrictive as when it was originally passed in 1977. Today’s looser version has only been around since 2001. It’s actually aimed more at empowering victims to sue than it is completely preventing a criminal from profiting off their crimes in any matter. In other words, once Delvey pays her debts it’s possible she could start making a profit. Though, that also may mean she could find herself in civil court.
She Also Plans to Write Multiple Books
Sorokin’s diaristic website appears to be part of larger ambitions. She’s claimed in the past that not only will she write a memoir about her time in New York, but will also pen a second book about her time behind bars. She once told the Times that she hoped to finish both books while in prison.
The Threat of Deportation Looms
A German citizen, Sorokin has already overstayed her visa by the time she faced charges. The court has always pursued deportation as part of her punishment (it was a contingency of a plea deal she rejected as well). Back in 2019, a spokesperson for ICE told Insider they planned to take Sorokin into custody immediately after she was released from prison, but that doesn’t appear to have happened as of yet. Though, the threat still looms. Sorokin, of course, could also voluntarily return to Germany.
In the meantime, Sorokin has told the parole board that she will live with a “male friend.”
At one point, however, Sorokin said that she hopes to eventually settle in London.
Sorokin Also Has Plans to Make Money Other Ways
“Ideally, if all goes well, I’ll have my own investment fund,” she once told the Times. Apparently she’s interested in technology investments, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and criminal justice reform.
And, What Of The Media Circus?
One of the more pressing decisions Sorokin may have to make is how, exactly, to handle the media now that she’s a free woman. Will there be a sit-down primetime interview? A tell-all in a glossy magazine? Podcasts are booming. Perhaps she could even start her own. Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem like Sorokin is about to shrink from the attention.