Anna Sorokin returns to the courtroom after the jury sent a note, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in New York. Sorokin, who claimed to be a German heiress, is on trial on grand larceny and theft of services charges. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Fake German heiress convicted of bilking banks, businesses

April 25, 2019 - 6:25 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York jury on Thursday convicted an extravagant socialite who bankrolled an implausibly lavish lifestyle with tens of thousands of dollars she swindled from banks, hotels and friends who believed she was a wealthy German heiress.

The Manhattan jury found Anna Sorokin guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a monthlong trial that attracted international attention. She was acquitted of one count of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. She is to be sentenced May 9.

Sorokin also faces deportation to Germany because authorities say she overstayed her visa.

Using the name Anna Delvey, Sorokin deceived friends and financial institutions into believing she had a fortune of about $67 million (60 million euros) overseas that would cover her high-end clothing, luxury hotel stays and trans-Atlantic travel.

She claimed her father was diplomat or an oil baron and went to extraordinary lengths to have others pay her way. Prosecutors said she promised one friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco but then stuck her with the $62,000 bill.

She also forged financial records in an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club she wanted to build, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said. She was denied the loan but persuaded one bank to lend her $100,000 she failed to repay.

Her defense attorney, Todd Spodek, insisted Sorokin planned to settle her six-figure debts and was merely "buying time."

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