Is Inventing Anna based on a true story? Who was the real Anna Delvey AKA Anna Sorokin played by Julia Garner

Anna Sorokin spent years pretending to be German heiress “Anna Delvey” to defraud New York socialites

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L-R: the real Anna Sorokin in court; Julia Garner portraying Sorokin in Inventing Anna (Credit L-R: Getty Images; Netflix)L-R: the real Anna Sorokin in court; Julia Garner portraying Sorokin in Inventing Anna (Credit L-R: Getty Images; Netflix)
L-R: the real Anna Sorokin in court; Julia Garner portraying Sorokin in Inventing Anna (Credit L-R: Getty Images; Netflix)

Netflix’s new true-crime drama, Inventing Anna, charts the story of Anna Sorokin – one of the most high-profile con artists of recent years.

Sorokin spent the better part of a decade living a high society life of luxury, assuming the persona of German heiress “Anna Delvey”.

Here’s everything you need to know about Anna Sorokin in Netflix’s Inventing Anna, where Julia Garner plays Sorokin/Delvey.

Who is Anna Delvey?

Anna Sorokin was born in 1991 in a small town outside Moscow. She moved to Germany with her family in 2007, and then later studied briefly in London at art college Central Saint Martins.

After this, Sorokin spent time as an intern, first at a PR company in Germany and later at a fashion magazine in Paris. It was around this time that Sorokin first began using the name Anna Delvey.

What did Anna Delvey do?

In summer 2013, Anna Sorokin (Aka Anna Delvey) attended New York Fashion Week, and began to pitch the idea of the Anna Delvey Foundation to various rich attendees.

Meeting with little success, Sorokin decided to forge bank statements to accompany a loan application. She said she had €60 million in a Swiss bank while asking a New York bank for a loan of $22 million.

The bank agreed to pay out if Sorokin could cover the $100 000 legal fees needed to process the loan; she did so by taking out an overdraft from another bank.

That was the start of a several year long scam that saw Sorokin assume the identity of a German heiress and maintain a lavish lifestyle.

One lie would be told to account for the last, which would snowball into the next – she’d forge checks to pay for a fraudulent loan before purchasing plane tickets she never intended to pay for, and so on and so forth.

How was she caught?

Sorokin left a trail, and suspicions grew around her activities – by the time she was arrested in 2017, there were several open investigations against her.

She was arrested in 2017 by the Los Angeles Police Department. Her trial took place in 2019.

What was she charged with?

Sorokin appeared in a New York court in 2019; she arranged for a professional stylist to prepare her outfits for each day, at one point refusing to enter the court because her clothes hadn’t been pressed.

A jury found Sorokin guilty of eight charges, including grand larceny and theft of services; she was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison, fined $24 000, and asked to pay restitution of a further $199,000.

Sorokin received $320 000 from Netflix, and used most of that to pay restitution to the people she scammed.

Where is she now?

Sorokin has been incarcerated at three separate New York prisons. She was released in February 2021, but was taken back into custody by the Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement agency a few weeks later because her visa had expired.

As of September 2021, Sorokin was in ICE custody, awaiting deportation back to Germany.

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