How pretend heiress Anna Delvey managed to live like a millionaire without having any money



A lavish socialite

Anna Delvey was what you call a socialite – eating at the top restaurants, drinking at all the fancy bars, shopping at the most expensive designer shops, all while hanging around with other socialites. She had a life of pure luxurious indulgence that anyone would be jealous of.
After moving to New York in her early twenties, she soon found herself caught up in the whirlwind of the grand NYC socialite scene – everyone knew her name. She was seemingly very rich and very charming. A young heiress with plenty of cash to splash!
However, the truth was far from what appeared at first glance. From 2013 to 2017, Anna accumulated thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent bills, fooling everyone in her path in order to do so. Yet Anna’s apparent new socialite life was soon to begin unraveling, and the shocking truth was about to be exposed. Anna was a master at her own game, but after a series of eye-opening events to those she kept close around her, Anna’s true identity was revealed. Her lies and deceit had everyone strung along unknowingly, but not for much longer!

A lavish socialite


Anna burst onto the New York socialite scene as a mysterious European heiress. Her desire for the finer things in life was apparent to all those who she socialized with. She was always seen at the best bars, restaurants, and clubs. To most people on the NYC scene, she fitted in well.
A lavish socialite

Anyone she met felt her seemingly natural air of grace and elegance, but her background story that she told people was very vague. She carried herself as a young girl born into a wealthy lifestyle, so that’s exactly what people thought of her.

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Hotel life


Anna spent her time as a socialite residing in different hotels. She had no permanent home she called hers. Instead, she spent long periods of time staying in the very best hotel suites. This was nothing out of the ordinary in New York, and so the hotels she stayed in had no qualms about her presence at all. Anna’s arrival on the scene all started when she began staying at 11 Howard Hotel in Soho. It was here that people started to notice her.

Because of the way she looked, walked and talked, hotel staff and fellow guests immediately assumed she came from a wealthy family. She booked to stay at the hotel for a month, and luckily for Anna, they didn’t ask for a credit card deposit. Unfortunately for the hotel, they trusted her.

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Splashing the cash


As a woman announcing her ‘heiress status’, Anna had no issue with splashing the cash. She lived like a celebrity, and wasn’t afraid of people noticing. One of the concierge staff at the Howard Hotel explained how the staff knew of her for always handing out $100 bills as tips.
Splashing the cash

He described how everyone would fight over who helped her take her bags upstairs because they knew she would give them a $100 tip. To everyone who graced her presence, she was a woman with plenty of money to spend, and she wanted people to know this. No one knew where or how she had her bountiful money, but of course, no one dared to ask. Anna was seemingly rolling in it.
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Getting noticed


As her month at the hotel continued, Anna began to stand out. People were becoming more and more curious. One particular friend she made was a member of the concierge staff called Nefatari Davis, better known as Neff. She became intrigued by Anna and the extravagant lifestyle she could so easily lead, so she befriended her.

Little did Neff know, that is exactly what Anna wanted – she wanted attention fast, and she wanted lots of it. Anna started to ask strange questions – she would ask for advice on where to go for dinner, and then already know the owners of the places that were suggested to her. It was becoming clear that Anna was a woman who seemingly had lots of connections and acquaintances in New York. But who exactly was she? How did her status come about?
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Making friendships


Anna and Neff’s friendship began to grow stronger. It was evident that Anna wanted a friend, and with Neff being an aspiring cinematographer, she was happy to abide. Anna’s status was a great prospect for Neff’s own life – she was enticed into spending time with Anna because perhaps her connections could do wonders for her career.
Making friendships

The two started going out to bars and clubs together, and this was the first time Neff had made friends with any of the lavish guests. They became really close. The two started to stand out amongst the crowd, and Anna’s heiress status was becoming more and more prominent in New York. Her plan was beginning to take off. She really was fooling everyone she met.
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Throwing away money


Neff has since recalled that whenever the two went out together, Anna insisted she paid for everything. Anytime that Neff got out her credit card to pay for something, Anna demanded her to put it back in her purse.

Neff loved the new friendship. She’s said that even when they were out at bars, Anna would continue to hand out $100 bills. Money didn’t seem to be a problem for her. Anna also hired herself a personal trainer and a life coach which together cost over $4,500.
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Social connections


To really cement her new life as a socialite, Anna would throw parties and events for her new ‘friends.’ She hosted multiple dinners at a French restaurant called Le Coucou. Here she would invite all of her important acquaintances – artists, CEO, other socialites.

Basically anyone that Anna deemed important in her strive to make a name for herself in New York. At one of the parties, Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin attended, and Anna has since recalled this as an exciting time for her. Anna was convincing herself that she was starting to hit it big time. Her charm was so convincing.
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Things beginning to unravel


She was undoubtedly gaining social connections, but all of them were still utterly confused by who she was. Anna was starting to believe her own lies. The delusion was taking hold.

One weekend, Anna and a museum owner and art collector she met named Michael Xufu Huang decided to take a trip to Venice. This was when Anna’s lies began to unravel. Her life of luxury was starting to perish. After all, there is only so long you can ‘fake it until you make it.’
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Paying in cash


After insisting she would pay him back, Michael booked the hotel and flights on his own credit card. This was no big deal to him as he certainly had the money to pay for her – plus, he trusted Anna! He had seen her splashing the cash before, so he knew she had plenty of money.
Paying in cash

However, one thing that he did find rather strange was how Anna would always pay in cash – nonetheless, this flew over his head, and the two had a great trip together.
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A birthday party


Shortly after Venice, and still not having paid Michael back, Anna decided to throw herself a big birthday bash. She hired a PR company to ensure she had all the most important people attend, and of course, she bought the very finest bubbly for them all the drink. Michael was one of these guests, and the two celebrated in style.

However, the day after the party, Michael himself received a call from the PR company asking for Anna’s contact details. He asked why this might be, and they told him it was because she still hadn’t paid her bill.
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Who is she?


After her birthday party, everyone who knew Anna was started to grow even more curious. No one truly knew anything about her background – her past still remained very much closed up and concealed. Everyone was told different stories – and not one of them had any evidence to back it up.

Many believed she was an heiress to a very wealthy family in Germany. Some were told her father had big investments in the international oil industry. While many others were told her father was a Russian diplomat. What was the truth? Was any of it the truth?
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Ambitions


Certainly an ambitious young woman, Anna decided she was going to form an elite art club for exclusive members. She was going to name it The Anna Delvey Foundation, and she planned to manage this club with help from her so-called reputation and connections.

To do so, she was going to need a considerable loan to help pay for the startup. To pay for her desired club location at Park Avenue South, the loan needed to be millions of dollars. Anna’s foolish and over the top dreams were becoming unstoppable.
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Unpayable loans


With her plans for the Anna Delvey Foundation, Anna wrote a letter to her financial partner who was willing to invest in the plans. She was asking for a loan from him – a loan extending into the millions! Of course, Anna could not repay this loan, but that wasn’t going to stop her.

She explained to her financial partner that all her funds were currently unreachable – either located overseas or within trust funds. She was conning her partner, and she had no reservations in doing so.
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Under her spell


One particular business CEO that Anna started to cast under her spell of lies was a man dubbed the “Pharma bro” from his widespread investments in the medical industry. His name was Martin Shkreli, and Anna was continuously attempting to seek advice from him.

Michael Shkreli has since described their relationship as very close, and it would come to no surprise if it weren’t just advice she was after from him, but his money as well. Anna was on a mission to purchase the club, and nothing in her way was going to stop her.
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Card declined


Anna’s plans for the club were not materializing in the ways she hoped they would, and things took an even darker turn for the worse when at dinner one night with Neff. Out of cash and flustered, Anna tried to pay for the dinner bill with a dozen different cards – all of which were declined.

Neff was confused. How could someone of her wealth be declined so many times? To make matters worse, Anna had an even bigger bill to pay – the hotel bill.
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A huge hotel bill


With Neff a staff member at the Howard Hotel, she made light of the situation and began gently asking her friend Anna if she was going to pay the bill soon.

The cost was racking up to $30,000, and it needed to be paid as quickly as possible. Anna promised Neff that the bill was going to be paid via wire transfer imminently. A few days went by, and the hotel was starting to become frustrated as to why the bill was still yet to be paid.
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An untrustworthy guest


Eventually, a fully-paid bill in Anna’s name came through, but unfortunately for Anna, they were done with playing games. They had lost all trust in her.

The well-spun web of lies that Anna had formed so well was now damaged. They still had no valid credit card details for a guest who had been staying with them for other a month, and they were now unconvinced that she was who she was saying she was.
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No more entry


With Anna’s late payment, the hotel decided that if she was going to continue her stay in the room, then she must provide them with a valid credit card as a deposit. Anna didn’t have one. She became furious at them, not understanding how they dared to treat her like this.
No more entry

She was up until this point a well-respected guest of theirs, but now, she was being kicked out on the curb like any other commoner who walked through the doors without a valid deposit. Anna was starting to realize that the truth hurts.
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Morocco mayhem


Shortly after, to ease her pain in the only way she seemed to know, Anna took a trip to Morocco. She was accompanied by her personal trainer and a videographer friend named Rachel. After falling ill from food poisoning, her personal trainer had to leave early.

However, shortly after returning home, she received a call from Anna asking for help. Apparently, her credit card wasn’t working, and the hotel was threatening to have her arrested if no payment was made immediately.
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Hotel bills racking up


Fortunately for Anna, the hotel eventually assumed the failure of payment was a fault of their own, and so Anna was allowed to return home unscathed…For now. On her return, Anna stayed at another hotel in which a bill of over $11,000 accumulated.

Unable to pay this bill too, the hotel kicked her out – but this time, they confiscated her belongings. Anna’s life was falling apart at the seams, and no hotel or declined credit card could help her anymore.
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Going from worse to worst


As Anna was left out on the streets, the Moroccan hotel was calling again – they demanded their payment. With Anna avoiding the communication, the payment fell upon videographer Rachel who was demanded to pay $62,000 – more than she makes in a whole year.

After her personal trainer heard this, she was furious. Rachel was put out of pocket, and Anna was avoiding both of them. They immediately knew something much worse was going on. Why was Anna now suddenly unable to make payments? It made them realize – who actually is Anna? They had no idea.
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Under arrest


After a mass of unpaid bills was accumulating, a warrant was granted for Anna’s arrest. The story hit the newspapers too – she was known as the heiress socialite refusing to pay hotel bills. Everyone who knew Anna saw the news as well.

They were shocked, but all of a sudden, things started to become clearer – she had everyone fooled! Anna was released on bail and hired herself a lawyer. She even tried to escape the law by flying away to California. However, she was later arrested in Malibu. Anna’s days were numbered.
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The mask is lifted


This time receiving no bail, Anna was put into Rikers Island prison. With further research from investigators, it was even revealed that her name was not legally Anna Delvey, but in fact Anna Sorokin.

Born in Russia, Anna moved to Germany when she was 16. She was not an heiress, and her family was considered working-class. She had absolutely no fortune to her name, and there was not a trust-fund in sight. Her glamorous lifestyle was utterly phony.
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Inspired Netflix series


Anna’s story is so compelling that there are plans set in place to create a Netflix series about her life and the events that led to her committing such ambitious crimes. Anna is said to be rather honored about these plans to document her story, apparently even requesting that either Jennifer Lawrence or Margot Robbie play her character.

Anna’s trial is currently taking place, and she is facing up to 15 years in prison for grand larceny and theft of services. She pleads not guilty to all charges.
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Plans & schemes


Anna was a mass scammer, convincing everyone she came in contact with that she was a rich heiress. She owes over $275,000 to the banks, hotels and close friends that she lied to. In order to get loans, she falsified documents stating that she has millions of dollars kept overseas, but this was of course not true.

The loans she received was then spent to trick friends into thinking she was from a wealthy family. Her life was full of ill-planned plans and schemes, all to convince others that she could be a socialite just like them.
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Anna’s response


However, Anna denies this delusional desire to be a socialite. She claims the parties and dinners were in fact work dinners and business meetings. She has since said that if she really wanted money, she could have found better and faster ways to gain money.

Anna truly felt as though she had a well thought out plan – perhaps she convinced herself that the loans were going to be repaid eventually through the club she planned to open.
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The truth surfacing


So, if Anna certainly isn’t an heiress, what family does she actually belong to? Well, with Anna’s trial now well underway, the truth has finally started to come to the surface. Her father is a former truck driver and according to sources, the last time they had full contact was in 2013.

After growing up in Russia and Germany, Anna moved to Paris where she had a short-lived internship at Purple Magazine. It was here in the heart of France that Anna is thought to have developed her unhealthy longing for opulence. Her parents at this point still had contact, but when she moved to New York, she seemingly disappeared off the radar.
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Still got style


Despite facing countless years in jail, Anna’s spirit doesn’t seem to have been affected. According to sources, she even hired celebrity stylist Anastasia Walker to help choose outfits for her hearings. Anna’s deeply rooted longing for a luxury lifestyle still seems to be very much alive.

On one day of her trial, Anna arrived in a Yves Saint Laurent blouse and Victoria Beckham pants. Court members were confused as to Anna’s motives. She’s quite obviously still caught up in her lies and deceptions.
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Temper tantrum


Even after her arrest, Anna’s demands did not end. One day, when the courthouse refused to abide by her wardrobe demands, Anna was taken into trial wearing a tan prison sweatsuit. According to sources, she threw an angry tantrum, refusing to communicate with anyone in protest of her “ugly outfit.” Her temper tantrum is just one sign of Anna’s sense of self-righteousness.

Lawyers presence were apparently unimpressed, and Anna returned later looking miserable still wearing her prison uniform. Her days of prestigious power are certainly over.
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The American dream


According to Anna’s lawyer Todd Spodek, all of Anna’s ventures into the New York socialite scene were a result of highly-ambitious but innocent plans. In court, Todd summed up her actions over the years as a product of “faking it, until you make it.” He described her intentions from 2013-2017 as ambitions of the American Dream.

Members of the court and the public alike have not been convinced of his defense. Instead, they call Anna’s damaging actions as “delusions of false grandeur.”
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Locked up


Anna’s fraudulent crimes are shocking and outrageously fascinating. If you want to delve a little deeper, you’ll have to wait until the proposed Netflix series is released. In the meantime, Anna’s verdict came to a close on April 25, 2019.

Before the trial, many people wondered what she would be charged with and whether her crimes would be taken seriously by the jury. After all, if she was able to manipulate that many people, would she be able to do the same in court? So, what happened to her?
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Deportation Offer


Anna was actually offered a bargaining fee before her trial back in December. The New York City Criminal Court offered her the option that she could be released from jail on one condition and that was that she is deported back to Germany.
Deportation Offer

Perhaps Anna thought that her case would go better then it did as she decided to refuse the plea and happily went to court. After the jury was put together, the trial took place on April 25, 2019 and it appeared as though she thought she would get away with it all.
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The Verdict


The jury found her guilty of theft of services, second-degree larceny (theft of personal property) as well as first-degree grand larceny. She did get off with some things though.
The Verdict

Anna was found not guilty of first-degree larceny for a $22 million loan she tried to take out and a $60,000 bill for her Morocco trip. The U.S. immigration enforcement has also stated that she will, at some point, be deported.
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Focussed On Other Things


Throughout the trial, jurors were stunned to see how Anna acted as well as the information that her defense team put forward. The judge said that she “showed more concern for her attire than the emotions of those she hurt” and that she “revel[led] at the plight of her victims”.
Focussed On Other Things

Her defense attorney really went to the extreme by even comparing Anna to the great Frank Sinatra as they “both created their own opportunities in New York”. Then she was sentenced.
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The Sentence


It was on May 9, 2019, that she was given her sentence. Depending on her behavior, she was given a sentence of 4 to 12 years, a fine of $24,000 as well as being ordered to pay $199,000.
The Sentence

While her trial was taking place, Anna was held at Rikers Island and since May 15, she is at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Since being in prison, it appears Anna has not been doing as she should and has continued to break some of the prison rules.
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Interview


Anna has had many requests from journalists who want to meet her and discuss what she did. Her actions in court intrigued many. One reporter from the New York Times met with Anna and was shocked to hear her say, “I’m not a good person” are more than one situation.
Interview

The peculiar thing about this was that as the interview went on, she had no remorse for her actions, so why was she admitting such a thing. The two didn’t go together that was for sure.
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Plans To Be Rich


Initially, Anna was told by her attorney not to do any interviews, however, as her case has shown, she isn’t one to follow the rules. Writing about the interview, the reporter said, “But an interview like this was different. She had things she wanted to say: She wasn’t sorry, she told me.
Plans To Be Rich

She regretted nothing, except, perhaps how she went about it. She’d do it all again.” As well as the Netflix documentary that is due to come out, it seems that Anna hopes to one day make a lot of money by writing a book, that she has already started since being in jail, about what she did, including the why’s and how’s.