Fake heiress Anna Sorokin: ‘Crime pays, in a way’

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The con woman known as “the fake heiress” for posing as a wealthy socialite in New York says she is trying to make the best of her newfound infamy since her release from prison.

When asked if crime pays, Anna Sorokin told BBC Newsnight: “In a way, it did.”

Sorokin was paid $320,000 (£230,000) by Netflix for her story and says she has been offered other deals.

She went to jail after tricking banks, hoteliers and friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The story of her exploits – under the pseudonym Anna Delvey – went viral in New York Magazine in 2018, sparking instant interest from TV producers.

“I never asked for Netflix to buy my story, it just happened,” says Sorokin, who was released on parole in February after more than three years behind bars. “And everything else, it just spun out of my control. It’s not like I orchestrated anything.”

Sorokin was not able to keep all the Netflix money, owing to a New York law that prevents criminals from profiting from their notoriety. The company fully complied with the law and the authorities froze Sorokin’s bank account, allowing her victims to make claims to it first. At least $170,000 was used to pay back banks.

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