German Con Artist Who Passed Herself Off As Wealthy Heiress Jailed For Fraud
Anna Sorokin, who defrauded financial institutions and Manhattan celebrity circles into believing she was an heiress, has been jailed for four to 12 years.
The German con artist who passed herself off as a wealthy heiress has been sentenced to four to 12 years behind bars for swindling New York banks and hotels out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Judge Diane Kiesel says she was "stunned by the depth of the defendant's deception" at Anna Sorokin's sentencing in Manhattan state court on Thursday.
Sorkin was convicted last month on multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services, and has been in custody since her October 2017 arrest.
Moments before she was sentenced, Sorokin briefly addressed the court, saying, "I apologise for the mistakes I made."
Sorokin went by the name Anna Delvey when she defrauded financial institutions and Manhattan celebrity circles into believing she had a fortune of about $US67 million ($A96 million) overseas that could cover her jet-setting lifestyle, high-end clothing and lavish hotel stays.
The 28-year-old falsely claimed her father was a diplomat or an oil baron, and falsified bank records and forged her identity to further the scam.
Her ruse included an application for a $US22 million loan to fund a private arts club, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said.
She was denied that loan but persuaded one bank to lend her $US100,000 that she failed to repay.
In all, prosecutors accused her of stealing about $US275,000, including a $US35,400 bill she failed to pay for a plane she chartered to and from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
She went to great lengths to ensure others paid her way, even as she had "not a cent to her name, as far as we can determine", prosecutor Catherine McCaw said following Sorokin's arrest.
But jurors acquitted her of two counts, including an allegation that she promised a friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco and then stuck her with the $US62,000 bill.
She was also found not guilty of one of the most serious charges in the indictment: attempting to steal more than $US1 million from City National Bank.
Manhattan jurors did convict Sorokin of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a month-long trial that drew international attention and tabloid headlines about Sorkin's courtroom fashion.
Her defence lawyer, Todd Spodek, argued Sorokin had been "buying time" and planned to settle her debts. He said she lacked criminal intent and was an ambitious entrepreneur.