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Anna Sorokin rose in celebrity circles and threw out of $ 100 tips – the more reason she believed she was, as she had claimed, a German heirs.
But behind the jet-set lifestyle, prosecutors say was a fraudster who got the taste of the high life at the expense of friends, banks and hotels.
Sorokin, 28, lived in luxury New York City hotel rooms she could not afford, promised a friend a cost-paid trip to Morocco and then held her with $ 62,000 ticket and peddled fake bank statements in search of a 22 million loan dollars, the law firm in the Manhattan district has claimed
"Her overall scheme has been to claim to be a wealthy German heir with about $ 60 million in funds held abroad," accused Catherine McCaw said after Sorokin's arrest in October 2017 "She is born in Russia and has no cent to her name, as far as we can decide."
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Sorokin's lawyer said she never intended to commit a crime.
Lawyer Todd Spodek told lawyers in an opening statement that Sorokin exploited a system after she saw how the appearance of wealth opened doors. Spodek said she was aiming to eventually start a business and repay her debt.
"Anna had to fake it until she could do it," Spodek said.
Sorokin, imprisoned since her arrest, faces expulsion to Germany regardless of the outcome of the trial because the authorities say she exceeded her visa. Her story, however, can stick.
Shonda Rhimes, the power of "Gray's Anatomy" and "Scandal", develops a show about Sorokin for Netflix. Lena Dunham, of "Girls" fame, works on one for HBO.
At various times, it is claimed that Sorokin claimed that her father was a diplomat, oil baron or a large part in solar panels. In fact, her father told New York Magazine that he is a former truck driving a warming and cooling.
First, people around Sorokin did not see a red flag when she asked them to put cabs and air fares on their credit cards – she sometimes said she was having trouble moving her assets from Europe, they said – and they laughed. it as forgetfulness when they had to pay her back.
"It was a magic trick" Rachel Williams, the friend of the Morocco tour, wrote in the Vanity Fair. "I'm embarrassed to say that I was one of the props and also the audience. Anna was a beautiful dream of New York, as one of those nights that never seems to end. And then comes the bill." 19659005] When she enlisted in the New York party scene, accusing the charges, Sorokin began talking about plans to spend millions of dollars to build a private art club with exhibitions, installations, and pop-up stores.
Sorokin stopped the heirs when she sought a $ 22 million loan to the club in November 2016, accusing prosecutors. She claimed that the loan would be secured by a credit card from UBS in Switzerland and provided statements claiming to support its assets, according to a statement of charges.
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While applying for the loan, the prosecutors said, Sorokin persuaded a bank to lend her $ 100,000 to cover due diligence costs. She ended up holding $ 55,000 and "frittered away these funds on personal expenses in about a month's time," prosecutors said. A few months later, in May 2017, Sorokin allegedly chartered a flight to and from the Berkshire Hathaway General Assembly in Omaha, Neb., But never paid the $ 35,400 bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 19659022]