As long as The Post is coming over for an interview and photo shoot, Anna “Delvey” Sorokin has a shopping list: Diet coke, garbage bags, water, paper towels. And could someone also pick up lunch?
Then again, it’s not like she can run out to the bodega herself. The infamous German fraudster — who served four years in prison, only to be taken into ICE custody weeks after her 2021 release — has been on house arrest since she was set free on October 7.
Her new East Village apartment is a step up from the Orange County detention center where she spent the past 17 months after overstaying her visa, but it’s also a far cry from the luxury Manhattan hotel suites where she stayed while stealing an estimated $275,000 from hotels, associates and financial institutions.
Sorokin, 31, now lives on the fifth floor of a walk-up building currently being renovated; the din of drilling reverberates in her apartment, which contains a bed, two chairs, one small table, some artwork and not much more.
It was a last minute place to go, found by her lawyer when Sorokin was given the news that she was being released from ICE custody. The Post reported the one-bedroom as listing for $4,250 a month.
Although Sorokin was paid $320,000 by Netflix for the rights to her story, which became the Emmy-nominated series “Inventing Anna,” that went to pay for lawyers and restitution for her crimes.
“That money was gone before I left prison,” she told The Post.
“New York is so expensive, it’s crazy. It cost me like $160 to Uber back and forth to my parole in Brooklyn,” said Sorokin, who has been spotted heading to meet her probation officer in a giant SUV.
Is that the only option?
“I’m allowed to take any mode of transportation,” she clarified. “Maybe I should take the subway? Hmmm. No.”
Sorokin, who was born in Russia, raised in Germany and has an EU passport, chose to live in New York City over any other place in the world.
“If I wanted to wear nice clothes and be on somebody’s yacht, I could’ve done that. I could’ve done that last March. I still have access to the whole of Europe or to the rest of the world,” she said.
Instead, she chose to remain in ICE detention for nearly a year and a half, fighting for the chance to stay in the US. Her goal is to gain a visa allowing her to live and work here, and she’s now awaiting an immigration-court decision. (She has expressed a fear that, if she is deported to Germany, she could then be sent to her birth country of Russia.)
“Me staying and trying to fix this, it shows so much about my character,” she added of her American dream. “I think it speaks louder than 1,000 words.”
Sorokin was born January 23, 1991, in Domodedovo, a working-class suburb of Moscow, where her father, Vadim Sorokin, worked as a truck driver and her mother, Svetlana, owned a small convenience store.
When she was 16, the family — including her younger brother Michael, now a student — moved to the small industrial town of Eschweiler, Germany.
Although Sorokin has not seen her parents since 2017, they talk via video chat and Vadim and Svetlana are well-versed in their daughter’s notoriety. During her stint in ICE, Sorokin said, they asked her: “Oh my gosh, are you just in jail for publicity?”
She is hoping they will visit New York over the holidays.
Always into fashion, Sorokin dropped out of the prestigious Central St. Martin’s art school in London before taking a job at a PR firm in Germany. Then it was on to Paris. She arrived in NYC in 2013, using the name Anna Delvey — a name she says is “random … it doesn’t have a background” — and with plans to open a private members’ club and art foundation.
In reality, Sorokin falsified records and lied to banks, getting them to lend her tens of thousands of dollars, and convinced several luxury Manhattan hotels to let her stay on credit only to leave without settling her bills.
She was finally arrested at an upscale rehab facility in Malibu, Calif., in 2017. (Although usually an open book, Sorokin declined to explain why she was there.) After a jury convicted her on grand larceny and theft services charges, Sorokin was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, and shipped up to Albion Correctional Facilities in upstate New York. She was released early for good behavior.
“It’s not like I had a split personality or anything,” she said of her crimes. “I never really had any crazy formative childhood experience. I just always felt like, “Why not? Why should I just stay somewhere and be bored?”
Also, she insisted, “It was so gradual. Just to show you how young and delusional I was, I felt like I needed to build a building in New York that would be an art foundation. We’re going to have this awesome art project, and then we’re going to have a different artist come and change the space every couple of months. [But] who’s going to pay for it? This is how the idea of the private club came … to make the art thing possible. Then the landlord was like, ‘Somebody else is looking at the building.’ So I’ll admit, I was under pressure to make this happen. I thought, ‘Oh, if I don’t pull this off, [investors] will be like, ‘Oh, this little girl, she’s just full of s–t,’ and nobody will ever work with me again.
“I like to figure things out and solve problems. And it’s obviously a very, very bad way, an unfortunate way, I chose to solve a problem.”
Although Sorokin told the New York Times in 2019 that she wasn’t sorry, she now says of her criminal behavior: “It was legally wrong. Nobody should be subjected to fraud … I was not trying to scam elderly people, but this is what the law is.”
She is insistent that at least some of her legend isn’t true — like having pretended to be an heiress.
“When I saw the headlines ‘con woman, fake heiress’, I didn’t see myself as such, at all. I never told anybody how much money I had. I never pretended to be anything,” she said. “Somebody assumed I had all this money just because I was working on this project. I feel like that’s their problem.”
Sorokin still has big dreams for her future, including plans for an upcoming podcast.
“I mean, not all of my ideas are illegal!” she said. “I’ve had so many offers from so many interesting people, and my art has been so successful.”
Prints start at $250 and the pencil-created originals can go for as much as $10,000 to $15,000. She is represented by the art dealer Chris Martine, who said there is a waiting list to buy Sorokin’s originals, many of which were created while in detention. Feminine and fanciful, but often with a dark twist, they depict her life behind bars and even articles on her from The Post.
A new collection of prints will go on sale at Foundersartclub.com next week.
Sorokin said that $10,000 from her art sales went to pay the deposit on her apartment.
She also said she learned lessons in prison that will help her on the outside, explaining she got a “crash course on how to solve conflict and problems” at Rikers. She now wants to help with prison reform, particularly when it comes to mental health, after seeing so many women needing personalized treatment.
She also said she got a better understanding of what she did wrong thanks to others’ perceptions of her. “It took me getting out of prison, where you’re still very secluded and isolated from the world … and getting access to the media to see the reactions and how it affected people.”
A condition of her release is no social media. Sorokin is not sure if that includes dating apps, but said: “No way am I going on those.”
Asked if she would like to eventually start a family, she said: “Eventually, yes, I’d love to … But I don’t know, not right now. Maybe tomorrow.”
Sorokin works with a preferred stylist and was seen this week going to meet her probation officer while wearing a Saint Laurent trench coat, high-heeled sandals and a silky kerchief adorned with a shiny “AD” pin. “I’m getting inspiration from old movies,” she said.
And yet, she added, “I totally understand the government or a lot of people are kind of like, ‘Why is this being glamorized?’ … If anybody were to look at me and say, ‘Anna is a criminal. It worked out so well for her. I’m just going to do the same thing,’ I would hate it. It’s a very dangerous path to go down. It’ an awful look for anybody.”