Anna Sorokin: Fake heiress detained by US immigration authorities

Media caption,
Anna Sorokin: "I never thought I was cheating"

A con woman who was jailed for financial crimes while posing as a wealthy New York socialite has been detained by US immigration authorities.

Anna Sorokin, who created a fake persona as Anna Delvey, was taken into custody on 25 March.

The 30-year-old is facing deportation to her home country Germany after her release from prison in February.

She was found guilty in April 2020 of stealing from banks and hotels, having scammed more than $200,000 (£153,580).

A spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency told the BBC that Sorokin was being held at a county jail in the state of New Jersey. No more details were given.

Sorokin, a German citizen, had overstayed her US visa, the agency told the Insider website.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A Netflix series about her crimes, Inventing Anna, is already in production

Sorokin reported to immigration authorities in New York on 25 March and was due to be deported to Germany a day later, but has remained in the US, the New York Post newspaper reported.

It is not clear if Sorokin is challenging her deportation.

Lawyers for Sorokin did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

In February one of her lawyers, Todd Spodek, told the BBC he expected Sorokin to be deported to Germany in due course.

During her trial prosecutors told how Sorokin, under the assumed name of Anna Delvey, pretended she was worth about $60m with a trust fund in Europe.

Maintaining the scam for several years, Sorokin used her phoney persona to facilitate a luxury lifestyle.

Prosecutors said she used forged financial documents to maintain the charade and even managed to get a $100,000 overdraft loan from one bank.

Image source, BFA
Image caption,
Sorokin tricked the New York City's elite into thinking she was a billionaire heiress

Her lawyer, Mr Spodek, argued in court that Sorokin had tried to "fake it until she could make it".

Ultimately, Sorokin was found guilty of eight counts and acquitted of two others. She was sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison, but released on parole in February this year.

Her story came to international attention in 2018 after a hit New York Magazine feature by writer Jessica Pressler.

Since her release from prison, Sorokin has been capitalising on the infamy she gained during her trial. Buoyed by the media interest in her story, she has been giving interviews, exploring business ventures and lining up TV projects.

Sorokin was paid $320,000 (£230,000) by Netflix for her life story. Some of those funds were used to pay back banks she defrauded.

In an interview with the BBC last month, Sorokin was asked if crime pays. "In a way, it did," she replied.

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