Fake heiress Anna Sorokin claims 'poor person's relief' in court

Fake heiress Anna Sorokin claims 'poor person's relief' in court

March 3, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Pleading poverty! Fake heiress Anna Sorokin files for ‘poor person’s relief’ to fund appeal on larceny conviction – but says her wealth should allow her to stay in US in separate deportation case

  • Sorokin, 31, swindled $275,000 from friends and businesses by claiming she was a German heiress with a $60 million fortune
  • Now she is claiming ‘poor person’s relief’ to help fund her appeal against her criminal convictions for theft and grand larceny
  • She was given a sentence of four-to-twelve years and released from prison in 2021 
  • Now, though, she is locked up again, this time by ICE and is awaiting a possible deportation hearing
  • Her lawyer in that case claims she should be allowed to stay in the United States  based on her wealth
  • Russian-born Sorokin is the inspiration behind  the Netflix series Inventing Anna, starring Julia Garner
  • She is also suing federal authorities claiming she caught Covid after her jailers refused to give her a booster shot 

She lived the high life in Manhattan after swindling her victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But now ‘fake heiress’ Anna Sorokin claims she is finally broke.

Russian-born Sorokin, who masqueraded as a wealthy German socialite, has been granted ‘poor person’s relief’ in filing her appeal against her conviction for grand larceny and theft, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Sorokin, who is the subject of the new Netflix series Inventing Anna — which says it was inspired ‘by the true story of a total fake’ — was given help by a court to cover the costs of filing her appeal and other legal fees.

The 31-year-old had formally requested ‘limited’ relief, for which she would have to prove she had little or no money.

Sorokin had been due to file the appeal by February 22nd but she has yet to do so.

Anna Sorokin has applied for limited poor person’s relief to get state aid to fund her appeal against her convictions for grand larceny and theft

The Russian-born criminal was convicted of scamming New York banks and socialites out of thousand claiming to a German heiress named Anna Delvey

Sorokin (right) lived the high life. Hers she poses for a picture with friends at the Tumblr Fashion Honor celebrating the Rodarte brand at New York’s Jane Hotel in 2014

She is currently in the custody of US Immigration and Enforcement at the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York, awaiting possible deportation back to Germany, pending her appeal.

She is also one of three detainees suing federal immigration authorities for refusing to give her Covid booster shots while locked up and claims she tested positive in January. 

The idea that Sorokin, who also calls herself Anna Delvey, could be out of money would be a grimly fitting end to a story of fraud, hubris and high living.

Her father was a truck driver, her mother ran a small convenience store. She was born in a working class suburb of Moscow and she and her family emigrated to Germany when she was 16. 

Inventing Anna, starring Julia Garner in the lead role, details how Sorokin claimed she had a $60m trust fund in Europe and scammed her way to expensive trips and hotel stays, ripping off her best friend along the way.

Sorokin was only released from jail in February last year after serving nearly four years of her four to 12 year sentence and went about returning to her previous life of luxury by renting a swank apartment in Chelsea.

Weeks later, after bragging in a TV interview that ‘crime pays, in a way’ she was arrested by immigration agents for allegedly overstaying her visa and has been in custody ever since.

This image released by Netflix shows Julia Garner in a scene from ‘Inventing Anna.’

Sorokin said she had no plans to watch Inventing Anna starring Julia Garner (pictured). ‘I never made the show in anticipation, thinking that she’s going to watch it. If she did watch it, great,’ said the actress 

Sorokin is currently behind bars at the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York, 70 miles north of Manhattan

Sorokin’s appeal for ‘limited poor person’s relief’ was filed at the First Appellate Division of the New York state court, which is handling her appeal.

Last month the court ruled that Sorokin was ‘permitted to dispense with payment of the required fee for the subpoena and filing of the record.’

The form for Sorokin’s application is not public but according to a blank version on the court’s website, she would have to detail any assets she had including property, stocks and bonds and details of her bank accounts.

She would have to disclose if she owns a vehicle and her gross monthly income and expenses, including money spent on food and utilities.

Poor person’s relief can cover everything from legal fees, to having the court provide a lawyer.

Sorokin still has her own private lawyer but requested help with administrative costs.

Inventing Anna was released by Netflix last month

New York-based attorney Mark Bederow, who does not represent Sorokin, said that her applying for such relief was ‘funny on many levels’.

He said: ‘Normally a person gets poor person’s relief by saying they are destitute.

‘They don’t just literally rubber stamp it, but you do have to represent that you lack any income and resources and one wonders did she ask her friends at Netflix to pay for it?’

Sorokin’s claim that she cannot afford a lawyer contrasts with statements by her attorneys in her immigration case, which is being handled in federal court.

Writing in August last year, attorney Audrey Thomas made a compelling case why Sorokin should stay in the US — based on her wealth.

Thomas argued that Sorokin would ‘not be a burden to the State as she has very lucrative contracts with Netflix and other well established media groups.’

Court documents from Thomas stated: ‘She will be self-sustaining for the entirety of her presence in the USA. She has a place to live and means of providing for herself and her business ventures will actually provide jobs for Americans

‘Ms. Sorokin has already provided for several people’s financial security. She has paid out over $75,000 in legal fees, and has hired camera men/women, videographers, photographers, and a team of American media personnel.

Sorokin at her New York trial in 2019, where she was reprimanded by Judge Diane Kiesel for refusing to enter court because the Ann Taylor outfits provided by her lawyer were not up to her standards

Sorokin posed as a German heiress with a $60 million fortune to rip off businesses and friends so she could maintain her extravagant lifestyle

Sorokin was released from jai in February 2021 but soon taken into custody by ICE for overstaying her visa and faces being deported back to Germany

‘Ms. Anna Sorokin is truly a force of change that Americans can believe in and a source of inspiration for those who have fallen to believe they can get back up again,’ added Thomas.

Bederow said the difference in the two sets of documents is ‘troubling’ and ‘raises issues.’

He said: ‘It is what it is. She’s a convicted con artist who is convicted of misrepresenting who she is’.

Sorokin did indeed have a lucrative deal with Netflix for $320,000, according to the New York state Office of Victims Services, which oversaw the repayment of her restitution to her victims.

Of that money she repaid $100,000 to City National Bank, $70,000 to Citibank, spent $75,000 on legal fees and another $24,000 on fines – leaving around $51,000 left over.

Sorokin does not appear to have paid back Blade, the air taxi service from Uber, for the $35,400 she owes to them for a charter flight from New Jersey to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the annual shareholders meeting of investment company Berkshire Hathaway.

Nor has she apparently reimbursed the $23,000 she owes to Signature Bank.

Thomas did not respond to messages asking for comment.

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