“Inventing Anna” is a documentary that delves into the infamous criminal career of fraudster and con artist Anna Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey, and asks what happened to her and where she is today. Anna Sorokin, played by Julia Garner, best known as Ozark’s Ruth Langmore in Inventing Anna, is a convicted con artist who lived the life of an affluent socialite named Anna Delvey for a short time. Anna became an intern for Purple magazine in Paris in 2013, when she was barely 22 years old, and it was then that she chose the alias Anna Delvey, setting Sorokin on the path that would eventually lead to her imprisonment.
The Russian-born Sorokin, who had recently come to New York City, pretended to be a German heiress named Anna Delvey and swindled more than $200,000 from various banks, hotels, institutions, and other socialites under the premise of raising money for the “Anna Delvey Foundation.” Sorokin racked up thousands of dollars in hotel bills and private debts in the process, falsifying bank documents to back up her claims of having access to millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Delvey’s story reads like the origin story of a Bond Girl, so it’s no surprise that Netflix picked it up. “Anna Delvey” was apprehended in a sting operation in 2017, imprisoned for two years on Rikers Island, and tried in a Manhattan court on March 20, 2019. She was convicted on many counts of grand larceny in the second degree, attempted grand larceny, and theft of services, and was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison, a $24,000 fine, and a restitution order of about $200,000 to her victims. Sorokin was granted parole in February 2021.
She didn’t stay free for long, though. Sorokin was detained again by ICE six weeks later for overstaying her visa. ICE has taken custody of “Inventing Anna‘s” real-life Anna Sorokin, a.k.a. Anna Delvey, who is being held in an Orange County prison facility in upstate New York. Anna Delvey wrote an article on her feelings regarding the uncertainties of her current circumstances on February 3, 2022. Sorokin argues, in a letter written from her cell, that the state is treating her unfairly despite the fact that she has served her sentence.
“While I was in prison, I paid off the restitution from my criminal case in full to the banks I took money from. I also accomplished more in the six weeks they deemed were long enough for me to remain free than some people have in the past two years. My visa overstay was unintentional and largely out of my control. I served my prison sentence, but I’m appealing my criminal conviction to clear my name. I did not break a single one of New York state’s or ICE’s parole rules. Despite all that, I’ve yet to be given a clear and fair path to compliance.”
Netflix is said to have paid Sorokin $320,000 to gain the rights to her narrative. Sorokin has spent more than half of this money on restitution and state fines, as she stated in her statement. Sorokin claims that her early merit release from jail means nothing to ICE, which still deems her a “continuing threat to the community.” She is currently awaiting deportation to Germany from her detention cell in New York.
However, the new Netflix TV show does not explore this aspect of Sorokin’s life. The film “Inventing Anna” relates the narrative of how Anna Sorokin ended up in such a tangled situation in the first place. Julia Garner’s performance is the driving force behind the Netflix miniseries “Inventing Anna”, as the actor embodies the peculiar eccentricities of the character of Anna Delvey, even down to her implausible accent, giving life to a different kind of criminal. Meanwhile, the real Anna Sorokin’s future remains uncertain as she awaits the outcome of her case from the authorities.