From Elizabeth Holmes to the college footage scandal, we have found ourselves flooded in stories of greats lately. But we might have reached the Peak Scammer Obsession last summer with the story of Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey, a hopeful socialite who managed to convince the New York City elite that she was a German heir, allegedly scamming banks and hotels out of hundreds Thousands of dollars in the process.
On March 27, she appeared in court in Manhattan, where she was accused of large larceny and theft of services up to $ 275,000. If convicted, she will serve her prison sentence in the United States; If she is not convicted, a representative of the ICE has said she will be deported back to Germany because she exceeds her visa.
Even those who forgot the story were riveted when pictures of her first courtroom were published, featuring Sorokin wearing a beige cardigan, oversized glasses, a black choker and a medium, low-cut black Miu Miu dress; and generally looks fabulous.
She added a swimmer after lunch she can do it all. No one manipulates an audience with clothes better than this woman !!!! pic.twitter.com/dCi3KGpHja
̵1; rachel seville tashjian (@theprophetpizza) March 27, 2019
While Delvey doesn't look quite as polished as she did when she scambed boutique hotels and sending tastefully splitting shots on Instagram, she looks more sweet than the average person facing grand larceny charges – and there is good reason for the GQ style writer Rachel Tashijan, who reports that Delvey's legal team hired a stylist, Anastasia Walker, to coordinate her courtroom appearance. Walker, who has worked with T-Pain and Courtney Love, told BuzzFeed that she had no compensation for the styling of an accused scammer and that she is optimistic that she and Delvey will "have a long-term relationship as far as it allows . "  But who is Anna Delvey, and why has her gaggle captured hearts and minds for scam lovers everywhere? Here is a quick primer for the next time everyone is summarized about one of her courtroom.
Who is Anna Delvey?
Born Anna Sorokin came Anna Delvey to the world's attention last year when Vanity Fair and New York Magazine published two pieces about Delvey. The daughter of a Russian truck driver, Delvey and her family moved to Germany in 2007, and she moved to London after graduating from high school in 2011. She then moved to London for an internship with a PR company (where she allegedly began to bypass the name Anna Delvey), then moved to Paris to start an internship on high-end European art magazine Purple. As she moved to New York, she traveled as a socialite and told people she was a German heir with a trust fund, and that she planned to build a "dynamic art center dedicated to contemporary art."
In 2017, Delvey's ruse began to become blatant when Beekman and W, two swanky New York City hotels pressed charges against her to check without paying bills. She also tried to jump on the bill at Le Parker Meridien, an expensive Midtown Manhattan restaurant, which led to her being charged with three counts of misdemeanor theft of services. Further investigations found that she had allegedly deposited a hundred thousand dollars of bad checks and forged bank statements in an attempt to get a $ 66 million loan.
Delvey was arrested in October 2017. "Her overall scheme has been to claim to be a wealthy German heir with about $ 60 million in funds held abroad," Catherine McCaw accused at that time. "She is born in Russia and has no cent to her name as far as we can decide."
In an interview with Cut from Riker, Delvey expressed some fraud: "I'm very sorry that things went that way, and I didn't mean it should happen," she said. "But I really can't do anything about being here." She also insisted that she was not a fraud and that she still had real ambitions to become a leading figure in the art world: "I was never trying to be a socialite. I had dinners, but they were work dinners. I wanted to be taken seriously. "
How did Delvey get away with his ruse for so long?
Delvey was extremely generous with her money and doused her friends with expensive gifts and picked up the bill for meals and parties. She was also happy to buy expensive gifts for the employees at the various hotels where she lived, such as A case from 1975 Dom Perignon, which she sent as a gift to the staff of the 11 Howard Boutique Hotel.
Delvey was also knowledgeable about the people she targeted: for the most part, people such as Vanity Fair pictorial co-worker Rachel Deloache Williams wrote an essay telling her friendship with Delvey who ended when they two took a trip to Morocco and Delvey left her with a $ 62,000 bill. As a Vanity Fair employee, Deloache Williams was not self-evident, but arose in wealth-neighboring circles and was acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of the prey. Delvey's carelessness of money and her desire to open a nightclub-cum-bar-cum "dynamic visa art center dedicated to contemporary art" was not unusual. "In my work style, I had often hit ambitious, wealthy individuals, so even though her business succeeded big and promising in theory, my sincere enthusiasm did not offset a measured skepticism," writes Deloache Williams.
Delvey's generosity and cavalier approach to spending coupled with her idiosyncrasies characteristic of the very wealthy allowed people to think she was who she claimed to be. "It was a magic trick – I'm embarrassed to say that I was one of the props, and the audience too," wrote Deloache Williams. "Anna was a beautiful dream of New York, as one of those nights that never seems to end. And then the bill comes."
Why are we so fascinated with Anna Delvey?
Last year, meteoric rise of what has been called the Summer of Scam, with Delvey and Fyre Festival CEO Billy MacFarland experienced the public imagination. Because Holmes and MacFarland relied largely on the uber-wealthy to continue their fraud, with the former smashing up of powerful male investors, and the latter appealing to the immeasurable yen of rich young people for unstoppable experiences, it has been suggested that our fascination with fraudsters stem from our desire to see one percent get their comeuppance. Writing to Marie Claire, Cady Drell wondered that our fascination with scammers can be seen as "a blinking protest of the status quo; a way for Americans to nod on sharp social injustices in a way that is a bit more nuanced than just eating the rich . ""
Of course, in most cases it is not just the upper crust being turned over by fraud artists; in Delvey the case specifically invoked she also the generosity of less well-heeled people like Deloache Williams to feed the bill for her lavish lifestyle, but often we are willing to overlook these inconvenient truths to cheer on what we see as a hardscrabble hero or heroine who managed to play a system that was created for them to fail – and at least for a short time succeeded. "[Delvey] was a perversely relatable driver: she was us, just with more energy (and possibly s an ability for forging or repurposing bank documents), "wrote Jia Tolentino in New Yorker.
If the first days of Delvey's trial are any indication, her legal defense is very attentive to public identification with Delvey, and will largely be based on her story as an unlikely (if very unethical ) Self-promoted success. In his opening statement, Delvey's lawyer Todd Spodek quoted Frank Sinatra and argued, "Anna had to kick the door to get her chance for life. Just as Sinatra had to do it in his way, Anna had to do it his way." He also said that what Delvey did was no different from what most self-made Instagram celebs do: "In her world, this is what her social circle did. Everyone's life was perfectly cured for social media. People were fake. People were fake. And money was Made on hype alone. "Of course, most Instagram celebrity ratings do not rely on people who reject hundreds of thousands of dollars, while Delvey's specific scam had a huge price. But clearly, Spodek's argument resonates with us to some extent: in the age of self-social media, anyone with a small imagination can move from the daughter of a truck driver to a Miu Miu wear, Dom Perignon swelling heirs.