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Inventing Anna (Sorokin) and How Crime Pays

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The real Anna Sorokin in her heyday

The real Anna Sorokin in her heyday

From the producer of epic shows like Scandal, comes a nine-part TV series called Inventing Anna. The show, like its subject, has already generated a lot buzz in social media. The show is in a "now and then" format that tells the story of how Anna Sorokin (aka Delvey) bilked over $300,000 from the rich in New York city while waiting for a bank loan of $40 million that never would come.

Some History

The real Anna Sorokin was born in 1991, the year when the USSR collapsed to become Russia. She was born in a Moscow suburb. Her family moved to Germany when she was 16 in 2007. She left home at 19 in 2011-12 and headed to Paris before going to New York in 2013. She worked at a fashion magazine called "Purple" while Paris and New York. This is when she first started to call herself Anna Delvey. Beginning in 2013 until her arrest in 2017, she defrauded the very rich that just seems incomprehensible to most people. It is astonishing that no "red flags" ever went up to those she defrauded. Her father was just a Russian truck driver and now sells air conditioners in Germany. Her father stated that during Anna's defrauding, which her parents had no idea of, she never sent any money to them to help them. In fact, her father stated she took money! Her old high school friends state that she could manipulate anyone but was arrogant and lied all the time if it benefited her. She was popular with the boys. But within Anna's girl group, her best friend stated their favorite American movie was, Mean Girls, the iconic teen movie with Lindsay Lohan. Anna wanted the role of her in that movie.

Anna was finally arrested in October 2017 for grand larceny on multiple counts in defrauding banks and private individuals. While Anna has been in prison since her conviction, she was just released in Feb. 2021 but months later rearrested by ICE authorities for immigration (expired visa) and awaiting deportation trial back to Germany.

In a recent interview from the NY Times, she stated she received $320,000 for the story rights to the Netflix series. That during her parole hearing she told the parole board that she felt sorry for how things are perceived regarding her case and her choices made. Later, she would say that when talking about her own situation and how things happened, that crime seemed to pay, at least in white collar crimes like grand larceny, at times. In other situations, she went on to say that crime does not pay. She clearly does not really regret much, if it pays and if one can get away with it like she has (even though she was convicted, she got a TV series out of it).

Inventing Anna

The Netiflix series captures the essence of her life in NYC and pretending to be a German heiress worth 60 million euros. In the series, Anna is played by Julia Garner, famous for her role in Ozark. Julia's accent is a funny mix of Russian and German when she speaks. According to the real Anna, Julia got the accent right, which often confused the listener, but that Julia's tone and pronunciation was much harsher and perfect than her real voice.

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Like other scam movies and TV shows, this show is a nice pace between the present (in jail) and the past (how the whole thing unfolded). It is the past part that most of the series follows through the trial. During the trial, Anna enters and treats the courtroom like a fashion runway for models arriving in stunning outfits. According to the real Anna, that is exactly how it happened down to the beautiful white dress. Anna loved being the celebrity and center of attention.

Like the show begins, proclaiming most of the portrayal is true except for somethings, most of the factual things regarding Anna's defrauding and scamming of hotel stays, trips, flights, all did happen. However, the fictional storyline is mostly with the aspiring reporter for the Manhattan magazine and some of her actions. The reporter's own story in the series is not entirely true and even these are just minor creative things to make the series more interesting. For instance, at Rikers prison, there is no VIP treatment in visitations nor is there any tea (there is coffee you buy from a machine). The storyline of the reporter who breaks the story is more embellished in drama, again, like other similar crime stories. Not a big thing.

In the end, it is an interesting series to watch. How Anna actually was able to get away with the scams and swindles of the rich is mind boggling since you know it actually happened. Watching how she avoids almost "busts" with bad credit cards seems made up, but it worked in real life. How she used a phone app to disguise and convert her voice into a mans was surprising. She did this when trying to obtain a $20 million dollar loan. Of course, how she actually was caught with the scamming is always interesting as is the trial.

Inventing Anna is mostly true. It is a show one thinks about long after. How could this even happen? Didn't anyone suspect anything? (well, yes, but...).

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