Art-World Scammer Anna Delvey Has Been Sentenced to Four to Twelve Years in Prison

The sentence comes after a dramatic, 22-day trial, during which she was found guilty on nearly all counts.

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin is led away after being sentenced in Manhattan Supreme Court May 9, 2019. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP.

Anna “Delvey” Sorokin—the woman found guilty late last month of orchestrating a complex scheme to defraud a group of friends and investors, whom she told she was a German heiress about to inherit €60 million—was sentenced this afternoon to four to 12 years in prison by the New York State Supreme Court. This includes 561 days already served on Riker’s Island.

Sorokin faced a maximum of 15 years in jail, and according to some reports, could have gotten off with as little as one year if she had accepted a plea deal months ago. She was also ordered this afternoon to pay $198,956 in restitution and $24,000 in fines.

Judge Diane Kiesel, noting that Sorokin exhibited no signs of remorse throughout the trial, said she was “stunned at the extent of the defendant’s deception. Even when it came crashing down on her like a house of cards, she was running from one luxury hotel to another, one step ahead of the law.”

Noting that Sorokin’s attorney, Todd Spodek, opened his arguments with a reference to Frank Sinatra’s song “New York, New York,” Judge Kiesel said: “I heard a different song in over 22 days of trial. It was more like ‘Blinded by the Light.'”

Judge Kiesel said the purported arts club that Sorokin told everyone she was creating on Park Avenue actually sounded like it was a good addition to New York City had it been true. But instead of the serious work involved in creating such a legitimate project, Sorokin was caught up in a “big scam” with her efforts focused solely on designer clothes, exotic travel, and staying in boutique hotels.

Assistant district attorney Catherine McCaw also emphasized Sorokin’s lack of remorse and vanity. “She repeatedly delayed proceedings because she was unhappy with the clothing on offer,” McCaw said, adding: “during victims’ testimony, she laughed as if she was reliving fond memories.” Sorokin “didn’t want an ordinary life, and was willing to steal” in order to get the life she desired, McCaw added.

Before the sentencing, Sorokin was asked if she had any comments. “I apologize for my mistakes,” she said.

Following the sentencing, Spodek said his client was “holding up okay. She’s a tough woman and a strong woman. She’s been incarcerated for almost two years at Riker’s Island,” and will be moved to a prison upstate at some point, he said.

After a dramatic trial, Sorokin was found guilty in late April on nearly all the charges filed against her. She was convicted on a total of eight counts, including grand larceny in the first, second, and third degrees, and theft of services. Jurors found her not guilty on two other charges: allegedly stealing $60,000 from a friend who paid for a luxurious trip for four to Morocco; and a second count of attempted grand larceny, related to her effort to secure a $22 million bank loan.

The trial presented testimony from dozens of witnesses, including bankers, architects, law enforcement officials, hotel security personnel, and former friends. She told them all the same story: that she stood to inherit a trust fund worth €60 million on her 25th birthday.

A focal point of Delvey’s grand plans involving pitching herself as the developer of a lavish luxury arts club. In a detailed, 80-page brochure aimed at potential investors in the “Anna Delvey Foundation,” revealed as part of the trial, Delvey boasted of being a lifelong art collector. Witnesses at the trial outlined her efforts to secure loans of upwards of $20 million for the purported arts club in a massive building on Park Avenue South that is now occupied by Swedish photography institution Fotografiska.

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