This NYC Socialite Scammed The Big Apple, How Did She Do It?

Published on 05/26/2019
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Anna Delvey has a made name for herself in New York City as a socialite. In the Big Apple, she was known for the extravagant lifestyle and her quirk of paying only in cash. Everyone thought she had it all… until the truth came out. Her life was never the same after her fall from grace… we daresay this is also true about the people she got involved with.

This NYC Socialite Scammed The Big Apple, How Did She Do It?

The Mystery Woman

Anyone who is part of the New York socialite scene has heard of a woman called Anna Delvey. She might have been active in the scene, but no one agreed on where the fascinating woman came from. You could say she practically popped up in the Big Apple and managed to be seen in the right places…

The Mystery Woman

The Mystery Woman

Don’t Be Fooled

One glance is all you need in order to figure out that Anna Delvey had money. Her behavior will also lead you to the same conclusion. This was one lady who had no issues doing whatever she liked all the time. This was only one reason why so many people fell for her tricks for a significant amount of time…

Don’t Be Fooled

The Right Conditions

Another interesting thing about her is that she didn’t have a permanent address. Our mystery woman just moved from one hotel to the next one, though she did travel out of the country for a visa renewal every now and then. Among these places, the hotel at 11 Howard Street played an important part in the story.

The Right Conditions

The Right Conditions

She Played The Part

Anna Delvey was acquainted with the so-called “right” people. That was actually the reason she was not asked to show a credit card when she walked through the door. The hotel staff members helped her out in the beginning, though they would later play a part in their downfall too.

She Played The Part

The Sweet Life

Essentially, Anna Delvey lived the life most people could only have in their dreams. She was the sort of person who wore fashionable luxury clothing and gave out hundred dollars in tips. At 11 Howard, she managed to immediately befriend the young woman handling the concierge booth: Neffetari Davis. Better known as Neff, this staff member was fascinated the moment this guest arrived at the hotel.

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

A Celebrity

Anna let the hotel know that she planned to stay there for a month, which not a lot of people did. Only celebrities and rich people did something like this. Whenever she dropped by the concierge booth, she always handed Neff a $100 bill as thanks.

A Celebrity

Another Soho Socialite

Neff Davis had no reason to doubt anything Anna Delvey told her. After all, she knew how to deal with these Soho socialites. Not only did, but she wanted to make friends with the guest. Back then, she was a promising young cinematographer who knew the importance of networking.

Another Soho Socialite

Another Soho Socialite

She Knew It All

Anna normally went to the concierge desk and asked for recommendations on where to dine and visit. Neff was quick to learn that the guest already knew the best places in the city, however. Aside from this, Anna actually knew the waiters, owners, and bartenders at those places already. What was she doing?

She Knew It All

Looking For A Friend

She could tell that Anna Delvey was not the regular guest in need of recommendations. She was only trying to get close to Neff. She must have wanted a friend at the hotel, and she got it. The two started to hang out and get close. Neff said, “You just sit there and listen, because that’s your concierge life.”

Looking For A Friend

Looking For A Friend

After Hours

Such interactions did not bother Neff. However, it is worth noting that it was a first for her to stay in contact with a hotel guest after work. The two eventually started dining and then going to clubs.

After Hours

Exclusively In Cash

As you can imagine, handing out generous tips made Anna Delvey a popular guest among the staff at the 11 Howard hotel. “People would fight to take her packages upstairs,” Neff recounted. “Fight, because you knew you were getting $100.” In all fairness, who wouldn’t? Anna Delvey clearly knew that money is a good way to make an impact. Isn’t it interesting that she was never at a loss for $100 bills? In fact, she actually paid in cash all the time and never with anything other than $100 bills. Nonetheless, no one thought it was important to ask where she got her money.

Exclusively In Cash

Exclusively In Cash

A Vacationing Royal

“She gave to everyone. Uber drivers, $100 cash. Meals — listen. You know how you reach for your credit card? She wouldn’t let me,” said Neff. Aside from everyday things, she had a personal trainer/life coach with a price tag of $4,500. We know that sounds like an impressive amount, but Anna Delvey didn’t mind. When you can throw that much cash around, people are going to assume you are made of money.

A Vacationing Royal

A Vacationing Royal

European Heiress

With her European accent, everyone simply thought she was an heiress hailing from a rich family back home. It was not at all hard to think of her as a princess who was living far away from her castle.

European Heiress

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

She did other things aside from befriending Neff Davis at the concierge. She also exerted the effort to whip up impressive dinner parties at Le Coucou, an exclusive French restaurant. These lavish affairs never lacked the attendance of stars. On the guest list, you will find the names of CEOs, artists, and athletes.

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

An Extraverted Person

Anna Delvey was blessed with the power of persuasion, which has proven to be useful to her. She did not only know the right people, but she knew how to make friends with them. From the outside, she might look like an ordinary person. However, what truly made her special had been her people skills.

An Extraverted Person

An Extraverted Person

A Way With People

She met a man during the Paris Fashion Week. According to him, she had been a sweet and polite girl who came up to introduce herself. As a testament to her way with people, she soon started to chill and talk to his friends.

A Way With People

Right Clothes, Right Time

Someone else had this to say about her: “She managed to be in all the sort of right places.” There was a time when she popped up at a party hosted on a private jet in Berlin. She came wearing a fancy outfit, but people still had no idea how she made her money. “There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” a marketing director called Saleh explained. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.” However, they would later find out that Anna was not the kind of person one should befriend.

Right Clothes, Right Time

Right Clothes, Right Time

Footing The Bill

Anna got to meet Michael Xufu Huang during an art show, and the two became instant friends. The successful art collector and museum founder event went with her to Italy to go and attend the Venice Biennale. His new friend raised red flags when she asked if he could pay for the flight and hotel, which he found to be “a little weird”. Still, he did not think much of this request since she promised she would pay him back for it. Besides, the amount was nothing to someone with his net worth. What do you think, did she pay him back eventually?

Footing The Bill

Footing The Bill

Bye Venice

When they were in Italy, Huang thought it was odd that she never put anything on her card. However, this was not enough for him to get suspicious either. It was only a matter of time before they had to return, however. Despite this, Anna did not seem to remember to pay him back. Nonetheless, Michael knew such behavior was common among the super-rich. These people often forgot minor details like this incident. He himself would forget all about it until he got a rude awakening. More on that later.

Bye Venice

Bye Venice

Best Birthday Ever Until…

We all love birthday celebrations, right? That is why we cannot blame Anna for wanting to throw an amazing party on her big day. She went and hired a PR firm to ensure it was going to be a blast. The guest list was full of celebrities and VIPs. Michael also got an invitation. People had a great time at the party… However, this was when things started to change for her.

Best Birthday Ever Until...

Best Birthday Ever Until…

What Was She Hiding?

A couple of days after her birthday party, Michael got a message inquiring about her contact information. They told him that “she didn’t pay her bill”. That must have been the final straw for him.

What Was She Hiding?

Different People, Different Stories

What exactly was happening? Who was this woman who called herself Anna Delvey and where did she get her money from? People began to look closer at the socialite. Moreover, those who knew her were told different things about her background.

Different People, Different Stories

Different People, Different Stories

No One Could Agree

A friend of hers believed that she had a diplomat father in Russia and came from “family money”. However, someone else was told that her family was in the oil industry. No matter what, the stories failed to line up. What was this woman up to? What was the truth?

No One Could Agree

More Theories

If you ask a different friend of hers, they will tell you that her family owned an antique business in Germany. She might have provided them a bunch of different stories, but the reality was that none of them were true. Anna Delvey was not bothered by all the speculation, however. In fact, she seemed even pleased by it! After all, she became more popular when people started to talk about her amongst themselves. If anything, this was only a testament that she was determined to finish what she started.

More Theories

More Theories

Her Future Goal

So, what exactly was her goal? It was none other than to start The Anna Delvey Foundation, which was going to be an exclusive art club. If you want to know just how seriously she took this, she actually hired the services of Marc Kremers. The creative director was helping out with the branding for the business.

Her Future Goal

Her Future Goal

A Dream

She went around the city to look for the best place to establish her own art club. At last, she decided that it would be at home at the redevelopment site at 281 Park Avenue South. However, she needed to get millions of dollars in loans to acquire it. With her connections, she found someone to do just that.

A Dream

Promises She Could Not Keep

She found a financial partner who wrote an email to speak of how important it was that she get the loan since “her personal assets, which are quite substantial, are located outside the US, some of them in a trust with UBS outside the US.” According to Anna Delvey, she had the money to eventually pay it all back. One more thing she did was promise that she would not cause the firm any embarrassment. In the end, that only turned out to be one more promise she could not keep. Yikes.

Promises She Could Not Keep

Promises She Could Not Keep

A Little Help From Her Friends

When people started to get wary about her finances, she started a fundraising effort and invited more wealthy people to her dinners. One guest she became friends was Martin Shkreli, the “pharma bro” who was hit with heavy criticism after raising the price tag of a certain medication from $13 to $750. He was eventually convicted on securities charges and currently serves time in prison. This was what Shkreli had to say about his encounter with 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.” However, he managed to influence Anna in ways that we would come to see later in the story.

A Little Help From Her Friends

A Little Help From Her Friends

The Beginning Of The End

It was clear to everyone that Anna was serious about launching her foundation. “She was always on the phone with lawyers,” Neff spoke about what she overheard from her station at the 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.’”

The Beginning Of The End

The Beginning Of The End

It All Came Crashing Down

There was one time that Anna took her out to dinner. When they got the bill for their meal, it was clear that she had monetary problems. She presented 12 of her credit cards, but all of them got declined. That was another key moment in her downfall.

It All Came Crashing Down

Time To Pay The Bill

It is not unreasonable to think that perhaps she was just experiencing cash flow problems. However, the truth ran a little deeper than that. She did not clear her bill at 11 Howard yet. In fact, the staff did not even know her credit card information! Up until that point, she was considered one of their valued guests. How could they not give her that treatment when she was a German heiress trying to buy a property from the hotel owner? She told them that she set up a wire transfer for it, but they did not receive anything even after a month and a half.

Time To Pay The Bill

Time To Pay The Bill

Facing The Music

The hotel manager asked Neff to deal with this sensitive issue as she was on good terms with the guest. Her stay at 11 Howard cost around $30,000. At the time, Neff thought that Anna was financially stable, so she had no problems approaching her friend about it. Anna reiterated that the wire transfer was going any minute now. However, she held on to her lies and refused to tell Neff what her situation was like. It sure seemed like everything was about to unravel when they got a surprise after several days.

Facing The Music

Facing The Music

Enough With The Games

What do you know, the hotel did receive a wire transfer for $30,000 under her name! In a snap, everything was back to normal. Well, that was probably what she had in mind. The truth was that this was only the beginning of a series of unfortunate events.

Enough With The Games

Enough With The Games

Rude Awakening

Despite this, the staff still needed valid credit card information to put on her account. This made sense as the bill kept on growing with every passing day. The hotel decided to stand its ground and gave her a choice. She could either show them a valid credit card or they were going to change her room code!

Rude Awakening

Failure To Do So

They were clearly not joking around. They actually did what they promised when she did not oblige their request. You can just imagine how mad Anna was at the treatment she received. That was when she tested the revenge plot she learned from Martin Shkreli. She told the managers at the hotel that she would get web domains of their names, so they needed to get them from her when the time comes. Despite these problems, she still went to Morocco on vacation with her personal trainer and a videographer who went by the name of Rachel Williams.

Failure To Do So

Failure To Do So

Troubles in Morocco

Her Morocco trip did not go smoothly at all. To start with, her personal trainer had to deal with food poisoning and went back to the United States at an earlier date. A few days later, the trainer got a call from Anna, who said that her credit card did not work. The hotel management did not take kindly to this and asked the police for assistance. She was now in danger of being arrested, so she was hoping that the personal trainer would give her a hand by paying for the stay with her credit card. Unfortunately, the first one they tried did not go through and neither did the second one. However, the hotel eventually claimed that the problem might have been on their end.

Troubles in Morocco

Troubles in Morocco

Kicked Out Again And Again

When she got back to the States, Anna Delvey found a new hotel to stay at. As expected, the same issue came up. She failed to pay off the $11,518 debt that added up during her stay. Not only did they kick her out, but they also confiscated her things! Where have you heard of a socialite living homeless in NYC?

Kicked Out Again And Again

Kicked Out Again And Again

Homeless

The socialite did not have a place to stay. She attempted the hotel scheme once more, but she was back on the streets when it was time to pay up. She contacted the personal trainer in the hopes of staying there instead. Although the trainer felt reluctant about taking her in, Anna threatened to kill herself. Although they had someone else over, the trainer obliged since it sounded like an emergency.

Homeless

Scamming A Friend

Before we go any deeper, we are sure you want to know how she got out of the Morocco ordeal. Apparently, it was Rachel Williams who came to rescue her. When Anna was on the verge of getting arrested, she shouldered the $62,000 instead. Apparently, she did not earn that much money in a single year. The trainer got angry upon learning what happened, and it was the last straw. After realizing that Anna Delvey was not who she had been saying she was, who would not feel that way?

Scamming A Friend

Scamming A Friend

Not Welcome Here

The trainer then kicked out this self-proclaimed socialite out of the house. Anna left the laptop there, though it did not seem particularly accidental. There is a good chance she did this on purpose in the hopes of staying another time, but the trainer saw through it. When Anna came back to retrieve it, the computer had been waiting for her at the front desk. She did not leave right away and stayed at the lobby, insisting she must see her trainer. However, she was not given access to come up to the unit! What was next for Anna Delvey?

Not Welcome Here

Not Welcome Here

An Intervention Of Sorts

By then, Anna Delvey had run out of hotels in the area to stay at. It is easy to see why – she had no means of paying for her stay, after all. At one point, she even asked her lawyer to host her at his house. He refused because his family was at home. He did, however, send a message to the personal trainer. We doubt he was surprised to hear that his proposal to have Anna stay there got rejected. However, they did plan to stage an intervention at a certain restaurant for the socialite. Who else was there?

An Intervention Of Sorts

An Intervention Of Sorts

Payback Time

Considering that the intervention was attended by people she owed money, it was nothing but harsh. After all, Anna Delvey essentially swindled them of a lot of money! She began to cry and promised she would be able to clear her debts as soon as the lease was signed. However, they had to tell her that the location she so wanted for her foundation had already gone to a different individual. She would not believe it and claimed they were telling her “fake news”. The next thing that happened will shock you.

Payback Time

Payback Time

A Talented Con-Artist

Around that time, there were quite a number of articles circulating about how Anna Delvey was merely a “wannabe socialite”. This was not the way she wanted to be described, as you can imagine. She was in tears when she claimed these were all lies. We have come to know Anna as a headstrong woman, so it is not surprising that she continued to denounce these reports. She emphasized she was moneyed but made bad decisions with her money.

A Talented Con-Artist

A Talented Con-Artist

Not Convinced

Rachel did not believe what Anna said, so she took things a step further. She contacted the New York District Attorney’s Office and sent an article written about her. She told them, “I think this woman is a con-artist.” She eventually got a call from them, essentially saying that “we think you’re right.”

Not Convinced

Different State, Same Girl

Soon enough, Anna Delvey got arrested on account of her unpaid hotel bills. “WANNABE SOCIALITE BUSTED FOR SKIPPING OUT ON PRICEY HOTEL BILLS,” described one newspaper. She hired a lawyer and was able to get out on bail. After doing this, all seemed right in the world for her once more. She even found the money to go to California! However, they arrested her once more in Malibu and sent her back to New York. The reason was that she needed “to face six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, in addition to theft of services.”

Different State, Same Girl

Different State, Same Girl

The Truth Comes Out

They sent her to Rikers Island and denied her the option to pay for bail this time. She currently awaits trial and could get 15 years in prison. The truth was finally out of the bag: she was no German heiress. In reality, she was Anna Sorokin, a Russian-born woman. Born in 1991, the family later moved to Germany in 2007. Contrary to her claims, she actually came from a working-class family. When her family was asked about the trust fund she claimed to have, they said it was the first time they heard about it. Clearly, she was lying about her identity the whole time.

The Truth Comes Out

The Truth Comes Out

An Offer And Counter-Offer

Anna had no qualms trying to sweet talk her way out of her problems even when she was at a dead end. She made a plea deal offer of only one to three years in jail. The judge at the trial firmly rejected this, however. The judge provided a counter deal that came with three to nine years of imprisonment. Anna “Delvey” Sorokin said no and opted to go to trial. Well, we will soon find out if she made the right call.

An Offer And Counter-Offer

An Offer And Counter-Offer

No Remorse For Her Actions

According to the presiding judge Justice Diane Kiesel, the young woman had yet to show any remorse for her past behavior. She also said the reason they said no to her plea offer was that it seemed nothing more than a “slap on the wrist”. Unfortunately for Anna, the people handling her case were out for blood. Clearly, they wanted her to pay for the crimes that she committed. There is a good chance she would get 15 years in prison for what she did.

No Remorse For Her Actions

No Remorse For Her Actions

A Netflix Adaptation

Anna is presently waiting or her trail, although it is interesting to know that a Netflix series on her life is now in the works. A judge working on the case even said that she seemed a lot more concerned about the casting than displaying remorse for her behavior. “This place is not that bad at all actually,” she said when asked about Rikers. “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” Even her lawyer said that she seemed to be perfectly fine over there.

A Netflix Adaptation

A Netflix Adaptation

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

In fact, this was the way her lawyer talked about her: “She is like a unicorn in there.” She was able to make friends right away and even finds the murderers to be the most fascinating people. She appears to enjoy observing the other people inside the prison. “This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy,” she narrated excitedly. There are many concerned citizens who wonder if she only likes it there so much since she has the opportunity to get to know fellow criminals.

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

Her Dream Location

You might have guessed it already, but her goal of starting the Anna Delvey Foundation did not come through. Last July, the location she was hoping to get for the foundation got leased out to a Swedish photography company known as Fotografiska. Considering how desperate she was to get it, you can probably imagine just how disappointed this made her. Nonetheless, she keeps talking about opening the “arts-focused members club”. She has admitted that she did not go about it in the wrong way yet this “doesn’t diminish the hundred things” she “did right.” Just how was it possible that she got away with her behavior for so long anyway?

Her Dream Location

Her Dream Location

How To Get Away With Fraud

The experts on the case have come to the conclusion that she scammed an unbelievable $275,000 from banks, hotels, and people. To do this, she had to use falsified documents to obtain loans from various banks. The documents went to show that she also got millions of dollars from European banks. She mainly floated bad checks and got credit she did not have any way to pay back. Perhaps she was truly banking on the business and its eventual success the entire time. Unfortunately, this was not going to happen now.

How To Get Away With Fraud

How To Get Away With Fraud

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

Let us face it, there was something brilliant and admirable about what she did. Anna Sorokin managed to live like a celebrity through loans, swindling, check-kiting, and false documents. Unfortunately, she was not ingenious enough to get everything under control before she got caught. Maybe everything would have been fine if she launched the Anna Devley Foundation as soon as she could. If only she was able to make a profit before the truth came out, perhaps this would not have been such a huge story in the first place.

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

Dropping Her A Line

There is another fascinating mystery surrounding her even though she is now in Rikers Island. Somehow, her Instagram account continues to be active. We are sure inmates are not allowed to use social media, but the posts are truly fascinating. We are sure she is enjoying her time in the spotlight. She also encourages everyone to send letters while she is there. You can do it if you want, but we highly advise against dropping by there to visit her. After all, who knows what someone like Anna Sorokin can make you believe? We already know the things she is capable of doing, after all.

Dropping Her A Line

Dropping Her A Line

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