Socialite Gone Wrong
She was known in New York’s higher circles for her spending habits and glamorous living. Plus she had the high-class manners to match.
Her friends said that it was apparent that she had everything she could have ever wanted. But there was more to her life than met the eye. And it would surprise everyone.
Anna Delvey appeared out of nowhere. She was a classy girl but no one knew anything about her.
She always asked where the “hottest scene” was and it was obvious she came from the rich and famous side of life. She clearly lived an extravagant lifestyle.
More Than Meets The Eye
Just one glance told most people that she lived a life of luxury. She acted like she had the power to own anything and had a confident persona that intimidated most.
No one ever questioned if her persona was true or not, she was really convincing enough. It was how she got away with almost anything.
To make matters even weirder she didn’t have a home address. She rather booked into a different hotel every weekend. She’d also often leave to go abroad only to arrive back by the following Monday.
A lot of people took notice of her extravagant living, especially when she moved into a high-class hotel on Howard Street.
It seems at least from the outside that she had the right connections and had friends in high places. So much so that she didn’t even have to book in with a credit card when she went into the hotel.
Her persona and perceived wealth helped her get in almost anywhere. But all those people would soon learn the truth.
Living The Dream
Anna was living the kind of life most of us could only dream of. She gave away hundred dollar bills left, right and center, while she made sure she was never dressed in anything less than designer and high-end clothing.
The hotel’s concierge, Neffatari Davis, also known as Neff, was fascinated by her and soon became close friends with her.
Anna booked herself in for a month. This was a long time for any guest to stay at the luxurious hotel but Anna behaved just like Neff had come to expect from celebrities.
She was generous with her money and presented Neff with a $100 bill whenever she came to the concierge desk for help. Why would she suspect anything strange?
Neff had no reason to think that Anna might be anything other than the Soho socialite she appeared to be.
As an aspiring cinematographer, Neff knew that being friends with Anna might be her greatest networking opportunity. However, she had no idea just what kind of person Anna might be other than this Soho socialite.
Anna frequently came to Neff to ask her for recommendations for restaurants and other places.
However, as they talked Neff found that Anna not only knew the best places already, she often even knew the staff at these high-end places by name. This made Neff wonder why Anna was keen to get close to her too.
One More Friend
Neff soon realized that what Anna was actually looking for wasn’t recommendations, she must have simply wanted a friend and used recommendations as an excuse to chat.
And so, Anna successfully befriended a friend from the luxurious hotel. It was a mutually beneficial relationship, or so Neff thought! “You just sit there and listen, because that’s your concierge life,” Neff explained.
It did not take long before Anna Delvey became known for her generous $100 tips at the 11 Howard hotel. “People would fight to take her packages upstairs,” Neff explained, “Fight, because you knew you were getting $100.”
Anna was aware that money sometimes spoke louder than words, so she always had $100 bills on hand. In fact, she only ever with $100 bills in cash. A behavior that would later be used as a clue.
A Vacationing Royal
“She gave to everyone,” Neff said. “Uber drivers, $100 cash. Meals — listen. You know how you reach for your credit card? She wouldn’t let me.” Anna also paid for a life coach/personal trainer for the steep price of $4,500.
Although that sounds like a lot, it was nothing to Anna. It was these kinds of expenses that re-established her wealth. No one could doubt it.
Thanks to her European accent, people assumed that she came from a wealthy European family with millions to her name.
It wasn’t hard to imagine Anna as a princess taking a long vacation away from her family’s castle as she acted like she grew up around wealth and prestige. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Star-Studded Dinner Parties
Aside from becoming friends with Neff Davis, she also took it upon herself to organize and host large extravagant dinner parties at the expensive French restaurant called Le Coucou.
These affairs were always attended by stars. The guest list included artists, athletes, CEOs, and other celebrities that pranced around the elite social scenes of New York. How did she get stars to attend?
An Extroverted Person
Anna Delvey had the incredible power of persuasion, something not many people can claim to have. Not only did she understand people, but she also knew how to befriend them.
If you look at it from the outside, she looked like a regular girl that ran in high circles. But what separated her from the crowd was her way with people.
A Way With People
A man who met her during the Paris Fashion Week called her a polite and sweet girl who introduced herself to him.
That was all it took before she began hanging out and making conversation with his friends who quickly grew fond and interested in her. Clearly, Anna was a skillful socializer who appeared to love people.
Right Clothes, Right Time
Another person who knew her said, “She managed to be in all the sort of right places.” Decked out in the fanciest clothes, she even showed up to a Berlin party held on a private jet. Still, no one had any idea where her money was coming from.
“There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” Saleh, a marketing director, who knew Anna explained. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.” However, it turned out that Anna was the kind of person you did not want to know. Why is that?
“There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” recounted Saleh, a marketing director who got to know her. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.”
Unfortunately for the people who were involved in this situation, Anna Delvey was not who she convinced them she really was.
Footing The Bill
Anna first met Michael Xufu Huang at an art show, and they became friends right away. He is a successful museum founder and art collector. They even went on a trip to Italy in order to attend the Venice Biennale.
However, Anna set off alarm bells when she asked him to put the hotel and flight on his card, something he considered “a little weird”. She promised to pay him back for the expenses, of course. Nonetheless, Michael did not mind so much since it did not cost him an arm and leg. Do you think she paid him back?
A Bit Off
Despite this request that seemed a bit off to him, especially from the way she asked, he obliged since she promised she would pay him back. In addition, the expenses weren’t such a big deal to him. For him, money wasn’t so much of an issue.
He later realized that Anna asking him to pay was a little strange, but not strange enough for him to think too much into it.
During their time in Italy, he found it strange that Anna only paid in cash. This was a little odd, but it was not a huge enough deal to him. The trip, of course, had to come to an end eventually. However, Anna seemed to have forgotten to pay him back as she promised.
However, Michael was used to this kind of thing already. He knew that the super-rich had a tendency to forget minor details such as this one. Michael eventually forgot all about it as well.
She Didn’t Pay
Despite her promise, Anna never paid off the debt that she owed to him. Michael easily recognized that this behavior was usual for the rich New York community.
For people who are so well-off, these things didn’t bother them so much and certainly didn’t stress them out. Soon enough, he was able to put it behind him, for the most part.
Best Birthday Ever Until…
For her birthday, Anna decided to pull out all the stops to throw the best party ever. She even hired the services of a PR firm to arrange everything.
Of course, she made sure that loads of celebrities and successful people went. Among others, she sent an invitation to Michael.
What Was She Hiding?
The party was a hit and the night ended on a high note but things changed afterward. Several days after the party, Michael received a message asking for Anna’s contact information.
Apparently, “she didn’t pay her bill”. This was the moment that Michael realized his friend was hiding something.
Different People, Different Stories
What was going on? Who was Anna Delvey really? Where did her money come from? People started to dig deeper into the so-called socialite.
The ones who knew her had different answers when asked about her wealth and family. Weird, right?
No One Could Agree
One of her friends said her father was a diplomat based in Russia, and that she boasted of “family money”. Meanwhile, a different friend knew that he was an oil industry baron.
The stories did not match up, but everyone wanted to know: what was Anna Delvey up to?
One friend, meanwhile, was told that the family had a big antiques business back in Germany. Despite all these glamorous backstories, none of them were actually true. Anna Delvey surprised everyone when the truth finally came out, but the speculations didn’t bother her.
In fact, it accomplished the opposite. As more people questioned her identity and origins, the more popular she became. It is clear to us that she was not about to let anything come in between her and her ultimate goal.
Her Future Goal
Apparently, her goal was to launch an exclusive art club named The Anna Delvey Foundation, also known as ADF.
As a testament to how serious she was taking this, she even hired the London-based creative director Marc Kremers for help with the branding of the business venture.
She scouted different spots for the club until she found the best location. She made the decision to base it at the redevelopment of 281 Park Avenue South.
The catch was that she had to take out millions in loans. Using her connections, she was able to find someone willing to do it.
Promises She Could Not Keep
Her financial partner, the one helping her get the location, made out an email how the loan was important because “her personal assets, which are quite substantial, are located outside the US, some of them in a trust with UBS outside the US.”
Anna Delvey told everyone that she had the proper resources to pay the money back. Another thing she promised was that she would not embarrass the firm. In the end, these turned out to be promises she could not keep. Nonetheless, she kept trying to buy the location.
A Little Help From Her Friends
When her finances grew more conspicuous, she launched a fundraising and invited even more wealthy guests to her dinners. Another guest she befriended was the infamous “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who was heavily criticized for raising the price of an important medication from only $13 to a jaw-dropping $750.
Later, he was convicted of securities and now serves prison time. “Anna did seem to be a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone,” he wrote about this mysterious woman. “Even though I was nationally known, I felt like a computer geek next to her.” Anna picked up several tricks from the pharma exec, things that she would then use to exact revenge.
The Computer Geek
According to him, this was what he thought of the mysterious Anna Delvey: “Anna did seem to be a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone.
Even though I was nationally known, I felt like a computer geek next to her.” Anna strategically befriended him and even took a note or two about revenge out of his playbook.
The Beginning Of The End
No doubt about it, Anna took the opening of her foundation very seriously. “She was always on the phone with lawyers,” Neff said about the conversations she would hear at the boutique hotel.
“They were always toning her down. Like, ‘Anna, you’re trying to make something that’s worth this much be worth that much, and that’s just not how it works.’”
It All Came Crashing Down
One night, Anna asked her to go out to dinner. When the bill arrived, it looked like she was having financial issues. She tried to use 12 credit cards, all of which had been declined.
This was the moment everything started to unravel for her.
Time To Pay The Bill
Anna Delvey was not only having cash flow problems, but there was something far more serious she was dealing with. She still had yet to pay for her room at 11 Howard. As a matter of fact, they did not even have her credit card information. Until then, they had been treating her as a valued guest.
This was understandable since she claimed to be a German heiress and was trying to buy the location owned by the hotel’s owner. The hotel did not mind accepting a wire transfer for her payment, but nothing came in even a month and a half since she walked in.
She was treated as a VIP guest throughout the entire duration of her stay, primarily because they thought she was a socialite trying to buy real estate property from the owner of the hotel.
While they initially were comfortable with the wire transfer she promised them, they had not received a payment, even after a month and a half after she entered the room.
Facing The Music
The hotel manager told Neff to handle the delicate issue of this guest’s bill since they were good friends. Overall, Anna had to pay about $30,000 to the hotel. Neff was still under the belief that Anna was doing fine financially, so she approached her about the matter.
Anna emphasized that a wire transfer should come in anytime soon. However, she still did not tell Neff just how bad things were for her. Everything was starting to fall apart for Anna Delvey. However, something incredible happened a few days later.
She Kept Lying
Anna kept reassuring her that the wire transfer was about to go through. She stood firm on this and made sure to keep quiet about how unbearable her current situation was.
Anna could really tell that everything was right on the verge of falling apart for her, but something surprising happened shortly after.
Enough With The Games
The hotel actually got a wire transfer of $30,000 on behalf of this guest! All of a sudden, it was all back to normal for Anna Delvey. Perhaps that was what she thought, at the very least.
In reality, she was about to get a rude awakening.
The hotel still did not have a valid credit card number for her account. The bills kept growing with each day she stayed there, and the hotel decided it was time to stop playing games.
The staff asked for a working credit card – if she did not comply, they said they would change the code to her room!
Failure To Do So
And indeed, they changed the code to her room when she failed to give them a credit card. Anna was furious because she could not believe they were treating her like a commoner.
This was the moment she tested what Martin Shkreli taught her.
She made a very clear warning to the hotel managers that she was going to purchase web domains with their names, so they would simply be left with no choice but to buy them from her when they needed to use them.
Somehow through this stress, she was still able to go on a trip to Morocco together with her personal trainer and Rachel Williams, who is a videographer.
Troubles in Morocco
There were many issues that surrounded the Morocco trip. Her personal trainer suffered food poisoning and had to return to the States earlier than planned. A couple of days after this, the trainer received a hysterical call from Anna Delvey. She said her credit card wasn’t working, and the hotel management was threatening to ask the police for help.
She was in danger of getting arrested, so she asked her personal trainer to borrow her credit card and pay the money back later. However, that card and another one failed to go through as well. This was when the hotel conceded that perhaps the problem was on their end.
The Police Got Involved
She tried to come up with a valid excuse for why her credit card was declined, but the hotel manager was threatening to get the local police involved. With Anna in danger of getting arrested, her personal trainer provided the hotel with her personal credit card information.
The first card transaction failed, and then so did the second one. After this, the hotel gave up their efforts and admitted that there actually was a possibility that the problem was coming from their end.
Kicked Out Again And Again
Upon her return to the United States, Anna moved into a new hotel. However, the same problem arose. She still could not provide a working credit card and pay off her $11,518 debt.
As you might have guessed, they kicked her out AND confiscated her belongings. She was now living on the streets of NYC!
The socialite was now homeless. She tried the hotel scheme yet again, but it only took several days before she was kicked out once more. She got in touch with her personal trainer and asked to spend the night there.
The trainer didn’t really want to accommodate her, but Anna made suicide threats. Despite having a date over, the trainer thought it was an emergency and conceded.
When she called her, the personal trainer expressed serious hesitation in letting her stay. However, her opinion quickly changed when Anna threatened that she was going to commit suicide. Although her trainer had a date that night that she was looking forward to, she told Anna she could indeed come to her house.
Despite how much she was looking forward to her date, there wasn’t even a hesitation in her mind on whether or not she’d let Anna come over if she was in this state of mind right now.
Scamming A Friend
But how exactly did Anna Delvey pay for her expensive hotel during her Morocco trip? The bill was shouldered by Rachel Williams, apparently. After receiving arrest threats, she had to put an amount of $62,000 on her American Express card. She did not even make more than this in a year!
After finding out that her friend had to foot the bill, the trainer was furious. This was the last straw. That was when she realized that she did not know who Anna Delvey was and that they were being duped.
Her Final Chance
Not a lot people make that much money in just one year, and Anna was no exception to this norm. When her personal trainer found what her secret was, it was the last chance she wanted to give to Anna.
As soon as this happened, it clicked in her head that she truly had no idea who Anna really was. It was immediately clear as day that Anna Delvey was a sneaky con artist.
Not Welcome Here
The trainer told the so-called German heiress to get out of her house. However, Anna did not bring her laptop with her, maybe in the hopes of retrieving it and staying once more. The trainer was wise enough to see through her tactics.
The computer was waiting at the front desk when Anna returned to collect it. She did not only come for her laptop, and she stayed in the lobby. She insisted to see the trainer, but she was not allowed to come up and visit. This was the moment it truly started to go bad for Anna Delvey.
Waiting In The Lobby
Her trainer knew that this wasn’t a healthy or safe situation and she needed to get out of it, which is why Anna’s laptop was waiting for her at the front desk as opposed to Anna going inside the apartment to get it.
Despite her refusal, Anna would not leave without talking to her trainer. However, the trainer never gave her permission to enter the house. What was about to happen to Anna?
An Intervention Of Sorts
Soon enough, there were no more hotels in the city to stay. After all, she could not come up with the money to support her stay. She once begged her lawyer if she could stay at his place. He did not agree as he did not want to bring her home to his wife.
However, he did contact Anna’s personal trainer. To no one’s surprise, she refused to let Anna stay at her home. However, she did ask Anna out to a surprise intervention at a restaurant. The plan was to gather the people who lent Anna money!
The group intervention was rightfully harsh. Basically, Anna swindled a huge amount of money from her colleagues and friends. She even started crying at some point, claiming that she would come up with the money to pay off her debts when her lease got signed.
That was when she received a heartbreaking piece of news: the location she wanted for the Anna Delvey Foundation had gone to someone else. She refused to believe this, and insisted that it was simply “fake news”. No one expected what happened next.
A Talented Con-Artist
By then, there were many articles going around that called Anna Delvey nothing more than a “wannabe socialite”. She did not appreciate these pieces and what they had to say about her, of course. In tears, she claimed that what they were saying were lies.
However, Anna was a head-strong young woman who stuck to her original story that she came from money. According to her, she simply took a wrong turn along the way.
Rachel still wasn’t convinced so she took matters into her own hands. She emailed the New York District Attorney’s Office and forwarded an article about her.
She said, “I think this woman is a con-artist.” Soon enough, she received a call from the office and was told, “we think you’re right.”
Different State, Same Girl
Not long after this, Anna was arrested for her hotel bills. “WANNABE SOCIALITE BUSTED FOR SKIPPING OUT ON PRICEY HOTEL BILLS,” a newspaper said when they got wind of the incredible story.
Anna got herself a lawyer and was released on bail. After this, it seemed like everything was back to normal. She managed to get the funds for a California trip.
Headed Back To New York
Unfortunately for Anna, she once again got arrested in Malibu and had to go back to NY immediately.
This was because she had court waiting for her, to “face six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, in addition to theft of services.”
The Truth Comes Out
She was sent to Rikers Island jail with no option for bail this time around. She is now awaiting trial and could have 15 years in prison. Apparently, she was not a German heiress. She was actually Anna Sorokin, born in Russia back in 1991.
In 2007, her family moved to Germany. She did not come from money as she actually had a working-class background! When asked about her trust fund, they claimed that they had never heard of it before. It does not take a genius to join two and two. Clearly, it did not exist in the first place.
An Offer And Counter-Offer
Even when she was caught, Anna still tried her hardest to sweet-talk her way out of her crimes. Apparently, she offered a plea deal of one to three years of jail time.
However, this offer was firmly rejected by the judge at the trial. The judge offered a counter deal of between three to nine years imprisonment instead. Anna “Delvey” Sorokin turned it down and chose to go to trial instead. We have no idea how it will turn out!
No Remorse For Her Actions
Justice Diane Kiesel, the presiding judge, claimed that the young woman showed “no remorse” for her behavior. She has also said that she turned down the plea offer because it would have served as a mere “slap on the wrist”.
This was bad news for Anna as the judges appeared to be out for blood. It certainly looked like they were willing to do everything to get justice served. They are looking into making her serve 15 years in prison for the crimes she committed.
A Netflix Adaptation
Anna is now awaiting trial, but there is a Netflix series about her life in the works. A judge in the case has even mentioned that Anna seems more concerned about the person who will portray her than in showing remorse for her crimes.
“This place is not that bad at all actually,” she has said about her time at Rikers. “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.”Her lawyer even said that the young woman seems to be doing fine in prison!
It’s Not That Bad
When she tried to explain to people what the place she was being held in was really like, Anna said, “This place is not that bad at all actually. People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.”
She kept going on to say that she often spends her free time people-watching inside. She continued by saying, “This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy.”
Just Like A Sociological Experiment
This was how her lawyer described her: “She is like a unicorn in there.” Apparently, she did not fail to make friends in prison and considers the murderers the most interesting inmates. She seems to find pleasure in observing the other inmates.
“This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy,” she said with fascination. A lot of people are now concerned if the reason she enjoys her time there so much is the opportunity to learn more about criminal acts.
Her Dream Location
As you have probably guessed, her dream of launching the Anna Delvey Foundation fell through. In July, the space she wanted for her foundation was leased out to Fotografiska, a Swedish photography organization. We know how much she wanted the location at 281 Park Avenue South, so you can imagine how disappointed she was.
She continues to talk about opening a foundation, which she wanted to be an “arts-focused members club.” Although she admits she went about it in the wrong way, she claims it “doesn’t diminish the hundred things” she “did right.” How was she able to swindle all of these people anyway?
How To Get Away With Fraud
Experts handling her case have arrived at the conclusion that she was able to con people, banks, and hotels out of a jaw-dropping $275,000. She used falsified documents to get loans from banks, apparently. The documents revealed that she got millions of dollars in European banks. She also floated bad checks and took out credits that she could not have possibly paid back. Maybe it is true that her plan was to pay everything back when her business finally took off. Sadly, there was no way this would happen now.
In all fairness, the way that she accomplished this was quite brilliant. Anna Sorokin was able to live a celebrity’s lifestyle using check-kiting, loans, false documents, and swindling. However, it was practically inevitable for her to get caught in the act! Perhaps things might have ended well for her if she was able to launch the Anna Devley Foundation and earned profit before it all started to unravel right before her very eyes. Had this happened instead, she might have even become the socialite she so wanted to be.
She’ll Never Be A True Socialite
In truth, things would never have ended up so poorly for Anna if she was able to launch her foundation and make her own money before her entire world crumbled at her fingertips.
If this could have happened, Anna likely could have ended up truly living out her dream as a New York socialite.
Dropping Her A Line
Since she was sent to Rikers Island, there have been several photos uploaded to her Instagram account. It’s not likely that she is allowed to Instagram from prison, but the posts are all very fascinating nonetheless.
Clearly, she’s enjoying the attention and fame. She now encourages people to send her letters while she spends time behind bars. Go on if you wish, but we do not recommend paying her a visit. After all, we have no clue who is even posting all this stuff on her Instagram account…and we all know what Anna “Delvey” is capable of!