Legendary Art World Scammer Anna Delvey Found Guilty

Published on April 26, 2019

If there’s one thing we know now that we did not know then, it’s that anyone with questionable hair and makeup techniques shouldn’t be trusted to be true to their word. Such is the case with Elizabeth Holmes and Anna Delvey, two very famous grifters that went from changing the world to being the talk of the courtroom. Delvey, who’s shaky eyeliner application habits and famously roughed up hair brought her to the top of the food chain in New York’s dazzling art world, now goes by Anna Sorokin, a Soviet-born immigrant from Germany. Today, Sorokin sits (styled, mind you) in a New York courtroom as the judge declares her “guilty” for Larceny.

The Delvey Story

When New York Magazine published a profile on Anna Delvey just last year, it wasn’t because she had just opened a massive art nonprofit on the Upper East Side like she had hoped. The apparent heiress had sauntered into 11 Howard, a chic new Manhattan hotel back in 2017, where she moved into one of its $400/night rooms. It wasn’t until Delvey began missing out on payments that people close to her (which there weren’t many of) began second guessing her apparent background.

Delvey claimed to be a wealthy heiress with a German art world background. She used that to her advantage to leverage a social life in one of New York’s most prestigious scenes. She quickly made a lot of friends in the art world, and in between shopping trips on Fifth Avenue she would make business deals with some of Manhattan’s elite. Then, the Howard noticed that Delvey hadn’t been paying her hotel room bills. With tens of thousands of dollars racked up, Delvey had to act quickly. Business deals around New York were beginning to come into fruition, and being evicted from your swanky hotel room apartment would surely put a damper on them.

The hotel began receiving wired money transfers, which were presumably coming from her wealthy, mysterious father back in Germany. This paid for the room, but only for so long. Eventually people began to put two and two together. When around $200,000 dollars had been racked up once again from various businesses and investors, people began looking into the reality of this mysterious new socialite that seemed to have just—appeared. Overnight. Out of nowhere.

An Iconic Grifter

As grifter stories go, Anna Delvey’s (who is actually Anna Sorokin) is up there as one of the most entertaining. Hollywood began swooping in as soon as the story broke to purchase the rights to the story. Now, as a Netflix film is in the works with production credits from Shonda Rhimes makes its way to our screens, Sorokin goes through trial for her crimes. Sorokin reportedly hired a stylist to create her looks for court, though. So it can’t be that bad.

Sorokin has been found guilty of a handful of crimes related to the grifting scandal. She could face up to 15 years in prison for things like Grand Larceny and theft of services. Meanwhile the art world remains baffled by Sorokin’s ability to scam some of the nations most elite. The likes of which include investors, real estate big shots, tech CEO’s and just—very wealthy people. It’s 2019 and we’ve been eating up the scammer stories for a couple of years now. So we can’t wait for Sorokin’s story to hit the screen.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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