Lion of the Blogosphere

Anna Delvey a.k.a. Anna Sorokin

https://www.thecut.com/2018/05/how-anna-delvey-tricked-new-york.html

An enjoyable story about a girl who managed to convince everyone she was rich, and now in jail awaiting trial for her various crimes. Maybe you can learn something in there about how to be a scam artist. (From the photos I saw, she isn’t even pretty.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 31, 2018 at 1:40 PM

Posted in New York City

58 Responses

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  1. Have you ever heard of Clark Rockfeller? There’s a documentary on Netflix about him. Of course he’s not actually a Rockefeller but just a really good scam artist like Frank Abngale of Catch Me if You Can fame. There’s also number of good articles about impostors and scam artists on Wikipedia if you are ever interested. I find them fascinating because it just seems amazing/creepy you can be so be scummy and intelligent at the same time.

    GondwanaMan

    May 31, 2018 at 1:53 PM

    • Anna should have used her phony socialite act to hustle up some rich guy, then she could have done what Rockefeller did and live pretty by-the-book afterwards. There’s a Joan Crawford movie called “The Bride Wore Red” that’s sort of on the same theme.

      Richard

      May 31, 2018 at 2:23 PM

      • Well, that is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that someone on this blog has wondered why a young female didn’t just use her feminine wiles to marry a good provider, instead of doing… something else that ultimately didn’t work out for her.

        Hermes

        May 31, 2018 at 3:25 PM

      • Indeed! She seemed like a good enough scam artist to get married, and then divorced a year later with a great divorce settlement.

      • That’s exactly what Clark Rockefeller did. He’d still be living on alimony from his wealthy ex-wife if he hadn’t stupidly murdered two people when he was a young hustler. Female foolishness usually doesn’t extend to murder, so Anna has another bite at the apple when she gets out of prison.

        Richard

        June 1, 2018 at 11:10 AM

      • There are no doubt any number of women who have hustled up a rich guy. That’s a fair game. But playing a fair game doesn’t make the news.

        Maybe she’s not too bright. The whole thing didn’t seem very well thought through. Mental problem? Something missing.

        Frau Katze

        June 1, 2018 at 8:34 PM

    • My sister was friends with ‘clark’ for some years. Their young daughters (my niece!) had playdates together.

      She really believed he was a rockefeller as did everyone else around him. He spoke with a boston brahmin accent even though he was german (of course, no one knew that) and frequently made first name/ nickname references to his ‘relatives.’

      She did have doubts about his claims to physics and math degrees from various ivy league schools. My sister DOES have a math degree so more than once could tell he had no idea what he was talking about. He also didn’t know the lyrics to carmina burana are in latin, which we both found strange (I never met him but she often talked about him). He once gave her a computer that she never used; after his arrest the FBI picked it up.

      toomanymice

      May 31, 2018 at 4:23 PM

      • I learned my lesson about liars in my law school years. Now, if someone seems off like that, I know they are lying about themselves. Too many people naively believe everything they hear.

      • I’m guessing your sister (and maybe you) are wealthy? It seems he mostly hung out with wealthy but extremely gullible people.

        GondwanaMan

        May 31, 2018 at 5:21 PM

      • We grew up well enough off to rub shoulders with the toos but were nowhere near toos ourselves. We also spoke three languages which seemed to attract expats (which clark technically was). My sister’s in laws (expats themselves) are wealthy, my own husband (child of expats) had a negative net worth when we met.

        For whatever reason my sister and I have encountered any number of remarkable people in our lifetimes, not necessarily good-remarkable. I once had a senior master take a keen interest in personally teaching me chess. Why?? I have a working theory I’m smart enough to give highly intelligent people a good conversation, but not so intelligent I make them feel threatened.

        My first serious boyfriend is now a childless cryptographic engineer in silicon valley with stock in his employer. He used to joke, don’t tilt the AC adapter downward when you unplug the computer: all the data might fall out.

        toomanymice

        May 31, 2018 at 8:44 PM

    • it just seems amazing/creepy you can be so be scummy and intelligent at the same time.

      Psychopaths.

      E. Rekshun

      May 31, 2018 at 4:39 PM

      • This lady is an epitome of a high life parasite. I’m still trying to read the articles on how she was able to pull off such a scam on such gullible individuals. A dinner whore, a freeloading narcissist, and…what else!

        But I wouldn’t feel bad for her, because many urban women are looking for their other parasitic half, who will take care of them.

        JS

        May 31, 2018 at 7:43 PM

      • Yup!

        If anyone else is interested in this sort of thing and has Netflix, look for Conmen Case Files and find the episode on Gene Morrison. Also sick…just sick!

        GondwanaMan

        May 31, 2018 at 8:05 PM

  2. I also found the story a riveting read.

    It however left me asking how it didn’t discuss in more detail incidences of men having paid for the exquisite elite pleasures Holly Golightly style.

    It’s an obvious conclusion that one should draw at least from some of the pictures used to illustrate the story. It’s hard to fathom that this little cutie of a scheming social climber was paying for everything. For example the picture of her at the Venice Biennale reports that some man paid for her ticket. Also the photo of her sunbathing on a yacht in Ibiza should make readers demand that she “#TagTheSponsor!” While this was a very interesting story, there were still so many gaps left that the audience is forced to read between the lines. Who knows if this was merely journalistic integrity bumping up against rumors and accounts that couldn’t be sufficiently and independently confirmed to be worthy of printing. Perhaps it also could be a lady journalist holding back with her reporting that could completely annihilate a young lady of very poor character by exposing the extent and depth of her exploitative depravity for all to see.
    #FemaleImperative

    What other conclusions have all of you drawn from reading between the lines in this story?

    I’m also fascinated by the relationship to her Russian emigre family living in Germany.
    What do you think is going on there?

    Also, her family name is “Sorokin,” is that Russian Jewish?
    She looks quite a bit like the red-headed Russian Jewish girl with big blue eyes that all the boys in my college had a crush on…
    Any speculation about how originating from a Russian Jewish culture might explain her motives & behavior?

    Our host, the Lion, suggests “she isn’t even pretty.”
    I don’t know how spoiled you fellas in Manhattan are by all the top-shelf talent at your fingertips, but I could very easily imagine what some guys might be seeing in this scheming little ingenue.

    Obviously she’s not got enough of the right stuff to go pro as fashion model, otherwise she would have gone down that avenue… But I do wonder about another “Holly Golightly” side of the story that a cutie like this might have been able to manipulate favors from horny rich & powerful dudes so she didn’t have to spend “her” money on everything. Or is the talent pool in NY so deep & wide that there’s enough competition from cuties striving for their very own Mr. Big, that the Mr. Bigs don’t need to actually invest much to enjoy cutie company? They say sugar dating is the future, but I suspect that a burgeoning supply of potential sugar baby candidates might actually be depressing the earnings of wannabe sugar babies just like Uber and Lyft have crashed the market for Taxi Cab Medallion Licenses….

    Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    May 31, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    • This is the guy who got stuck footing her Vennice Biennale ticket. No idea how he swings, but whatever… rookie mistake.
      http://www.artnews.com/2017/10/03/young-restless-collector-michael-xufu-huang-has-grown-up-fast-in-a-changing-art-world/

      https://vman.com/article/michael-xufu-huang-is-arts-freshest-mogul/

      Christine

      May 31, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    • I gave up through the story half way through, but yeah the girl was probably turning tricks and otherwise using her sex appeal to get money. She’s not beautiful but a 25 year old girl who is fit and not ugly has plenty of power over men.

      And, yeah, the author of the piece was probably concealing this aspect of Sorokin’s misdeeds. It’s become un-PC to observe destructive behavior which is characteristically female.

      fortaleza84

      May 31, 2018 at 3:47 PM

      • She’s a “Snookie” prolette trash disguised as a “wannabe” Manhattan SWPLette.

        If you can’t make it, then fake it!

        JS

        May 31, 2018 at 10:27 PM

    • I thought the same things; in the first part of the article, with all those mentions of her dropping $100 in cash left and right, I kept thinking “are they going to tell us where exactly she kept getting these wads of cash?” And yeah, the way they phrased it with the Chinese art collector was that she “proposed they go together” to the Venice Biennale and that he booked “the hotel,” which would seem to imply she was getting banged by him as part of the deal, but the article doesn’t touch that subject with a 10 foot pole.

      Hermes

      May 31, 2018 at 4:16 PM

      • Here’s a funny quote from the article:

        “He put her in touch with Andy Lance, a partner who happened to have the exact kind of expertise that Anna was looking for. In the past, she’d complained to friends about feeling condescended to by older male lawyers because of her age and gender. But Lance was different. “He knows how to talk to women,” she said. ”

        Almost certainly what was really going on was that she was looking for an attorney who would be sufficiently smitten with her that she could manipulate him. But instead she plays the feminism card; which is unsurprising, but what’s funny is that the author of this piece just accepts it even though it’s (allegedly) a con artist who is making these claims.

        That’s how gynocentric our culture is — people will accept the word of a known crook if it’s a woman who is accusing men of sexism, sexual misconduct, etc.

        fortaleza84

        May 31, 2018 at 6:31 PM

      • Indeed, I loved the phrasing there:

        “It was also strange, he noticed during their time there, that Anna only ever paid with cash, and after they got back, she seemed to forget she’d said she’d pay him back. “It was not a lot of money,” he said. “Like two or three thousand dollars.” After a while, Huang kind of forgot about it too.”

        “Kind of forgot.” I can guarantee you that no man, no matter how rich, would forget that a male friend owed him three thousand dollars. It might be formal prostitution, but more likely I think it was an “informal” arrangement, allowing the woman to believe she isn’t a whore and the man to believe he doesn’t need to pay for it. He might not even have gotten laid, having paid 2 or 3 K merely for her company and the hope that she might put out.

        Tanturn

        May 31, 2018 at 7:40 PM

      • the author of this piece just accepts it even though it’s (allegedly) a con artist who is making these claims.

        That’s how gynocentric our culture is

        Yup, the Wikipedia article on Elizabeth Holmes, as of right now, still leads off with “Elizabeth Anne Holmes is an American entrepreneur and inventor.”

        Hermes

        June 1, 2018 at 12:20 AM

      • What makes a better story? Russian high-end prostitute overextends herself financially or smooth con artist fools Manhattan socialites? I think the journalist is trying hard to focus on the second angle.

        Peter Akuleyev

        June 1, 2018 at 6:49 AM

      • “What makes a better story? Russian high-end prostitute overextends herself financially or smooth con artist fools Manhattan socialites? I think the journalist is trying hard to focus on the second angle.”

        I think the better story would be “Con Artist who who fools Manhattan socialites is actually a Russian prostitute” Better in the sense of being both interesting and accurate. But we can’t have that because we’re not supposed to observe that prostitutes tend to be bad people. Because that might reflect badly on women as a group, since prostitutes are almost all women.

        fortaleza84

        June 1, 2018 at 10:30 AM

      • Common sense says she wasn’t trading sex for money or favors. If she had been then everyone would have seen through her “rich heiress” con. The two are mutually exclusive.

        She got the cash from bank fraud. She swindled about $140K from the banks and tens of thousands more from other companies in services she didn’t pay for.

        destructure

        June 1, 2018 at 12:45 PM

      • While we can’t know for sure if she was trading sex for money–for all we know, she was “sugaring” with guys who didn’t otherwise intersect with her social circle–even if she was, I’m not sure it’s accurate to say she was really just a high-end prostitiute at her “core” and everything else was just window dressing. The article makes clear that she really believed her “arts foundation” was going to happen, and even after her arrest and arraignment, she appears to continue to believe it was realistic. Plus, she’s rejected plea deals, despite facing up to 15 years if convicted.

        Hermes

        June 1, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    • With the summer upon us my Tajik’s reaction to women dressed like this is: ‘How can you not rape her?’

      Yakov

      May 31, 2018 at 6:15 PM

      • More posts with Tajik quotes please. This guy is un PC

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

        June 1, 2018 at 2:23 AM

      • Here is his classic: ‘I’ve never cheated on my wife, I just compared’.

        A remedy for backache: ‘You gotta f* a black ass (donkey). Cures it in a day’.

        Then man is a treasure of values, popular wisdom and Islamic traditions.

        Yakov

        June 1, 2018 at 9:52 AM

      • NYC is indeed the greatest city in the world, where money reigns in king, attracting both Yakov’s Tajik into the lower parasitic order and characters like Anna into higher parasitic one.

        Yet Yakov’s belief that fighting perverse evolution is to be a solid middle classman with children, meanwhile the higher and lower classes in America, live and breed at their expense.

        JS

        June 1, 2018 at 11:13 AM

      • The Cuckoo bird is one of the most fascinating avian. It cannot create its own nest and care for its young, so therefore it drops an egg into the nest of a productive species, where the cuckoo chick ultimately kills the unborn and young of its host parents. The Cuckoo bird could either be a non-western immigrant or a SWPL elite type in America, depending how you interpret it.

        The cuckoo chick’s instinct is to push away the eggs of its host parents.

        This is Mother Nature’s cruel method of keeping the population in check.

        JS

        June 1, 2018 at 11:22 AM

      • Found this blog post to be spot on, as to why America sucks for a Western Civilization, why Lion is an unhappy Jewish guy, why East Asians could never capitalize on their IQ in America, why America is NOT a high trust society, and it’s NOT because of multiculturalism, and why proles hate SWPLs, because of higher intelligence and culture, and not money.

        It basically tears down everything what commenters have been saying on LoftB.

        “It’s not the fault of NAMs” as the author would say or “America is just a country of average IQ coming from the White majority, and that’s the prole symptom”.

        https://colonyofcommodus.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/white-undertow/

        JS

        June 1, 2018 at 2:04 PM

  3. On a related not, over the long weekend I read “Bad Blood” by WSJ reporter John Carreyrou, about Elizabath Holmes’ fradulent tech startup Theranos. I couldn’t put it down.

    Investors gave $900m dollars to her because she consciously played the part of a female Steve Jobs they were looking to find. The company wasted all the money on a blood testing technology that never actually worked. A lot of interesting details in the book about her (and her Indian-American programmer boyfriend Sunny Balwani) Stalinist management tactics of intimidating and surveilling employees and employing ridiculous PR propaganda.

    McFly

    May 31, 2018 at 2:39 PM

  4. Have you seen Sneaky Pete on Amazon? Pretty interesting drama involving a con artist.

    Half Canadian

    May 31, 2018 at 2:41 PM

  5. It worked for Elizabeth Holmes.

    garden variety krak

    May 31, 2018 at 2:53 PM

  6. she isn’t even pretty

    She’s got the crazy eyes. And her nose looks like it might have been broken at one time.

    E. Rekshun

    May 31, 2018 at 4:38 PM

  7. At one time I would have laughed at the people who got taken in by such an obvious con artist. But then I got suckered into the straight commission life insurance pyramid scam. I can’t laugh at them anymore.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    May 31, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    • Don’t beat yourself up, I got taken in by the oldest trick in the book, a seven year relationship with a woman good at faking loyalty and affection.

      Curle

      May 31, 2018 at 11:16 PM

  8. Thanks Lion, that was a great article. But there is a question of why is it enjoyable for us, mostly middle to upper middle class people, to read about these kind of things?

    I think it’s similar to how Blacks love to focus attention on White criminals. Part of it is tgat they want to believe negative things about Whites, but it’s also because they can feel schadenfreude at the expense of the White victims. This is because to be Black is to live in a low-trust bubble within the higher-trust White society. This is something every young Black male will experience when he walks into a store and finds that the clerk’s eyes are on him, even if the clerk is a fellow Black. He will himself practice this prejudice when a group of Black yout’s approach him on a darkened street and he is just as fearful as would the average member of the Ku Klux Klan. Thus, when he reads about Whites getting ripped off by other Whites, he feels that finally some group of Whites knows what he goes through on a daily basis. It also allows him to believe that, while his own race undoubtedly has its scoundrels, so do Whites. Ultimately, they get their comeuppance for extending the irrational privilege of non-suspicion to one another.

    We have a similar reaction watching rich people get ripped off by other rich or apparently rich people. For instance:

    “Not long after, Neff’s manager called and asked her to address a delicate issue: It seemed 11 Howard didn’t have a credit card on file for Anna Delvey. Because the hotel had been so new when she arrived, and because she was staying for such an unusually long time, and because she was a client of Aby Rosen’s and a very valued guest, it had agreed to accept a wire transfer. But a month and a half later, no such transfer had arrived, and now Delvey owed the hotel some $30,000, including charges from Le Coucou that she’d been billing to her room.”

    A hotel serving middle class customers would of course never agree to something like this. We think the hotel management are complete idiots for doing so for Delvey. But are they really? Or is this just a man-bites-dog story?

    Tanturn

    May 31, 2018 at 8:13 PM

    • No hotel accepts this arrangement. The 4 seasons certainly wouldn’t. The management is just a bunch of incompetent status preening imbeciles.

      Quite frankly they should have been too embarrassed by their own incompetence to go after the girl, but we do live in clown world after all.

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lap Dog

      June 1, 2018 at 2:27 AM

    • Really Lion, this is your bread & butter. Class, hierarchy & status anxiety.

      A conscious examination of these issues is really an unexploited niche in the “Blogosphere.”

      If you don’t take this seriously, this Masta D. Beta is going to have read some more and stake my own turf…
      But being the unashamed Beta that I am, I will happily defer to your prior authority.

      BTW here’s another essay about the same little schemer in Vanity Fair.

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/04/my-misadventure-with-the-magician-of-manhattan

      Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

      June 1, 2018 at 3:45 AM

      • That’s really interesting. She — the Vanity Fair writer — is basically a professional friend. No money herself, but she hangs out in high-end places by sponging on those who do. Anna was sniffed out as a likely patron by seeing her on Instagram and things with “friends and acquaintances.” The parasite relationship just got inverted.

        Richard

        June 1, 2018 at 12:31 PM

      • The story told by The Cut and Vanity Fair can be approximately true but not 100% true. American Express will reject a $62k charge unless the cardholder convinces them otherwise, for example by documenting available cash. Either Rachel Williams (an entry level journalist) exaggerated her losses or charged them on more than one card.

        WRB

        June 1, 2018 at 5:02 PM

  9. She’s not bad. Not spectacular, but well within the range of attractiveness needed to pull this off.

    sestamibi

    June 1, 2018 at 11:53 AM

  10. I think she’s pretty.

    Sheila Tone

    June 2, 2018 at 3:54 PM

    • I think so too. How tall is she? Height matters a great deal in Manhattan.

      gothamette

      June 3, 2018 at 7:31 AM

      • My guess is that she’s 5’4″ but never leaves the hotel without wearing at least a 3-inch heel.

      • Why would you guess that?

        gothamette

        June 3, 2018 at 9:53 AM

      • It’s a hunch. Prove me wrong!

      • I could say the same to you – but here goes. Look at the photos of her in the article you link which show her next to other people.

        I think she’s 5’7″. Her body proportions are good. 5’4″ usually has a big head and twig legs.

        With heels she would be impressive. With her hair & striking blue eyes she’d be attractive. I agree that in court she looked like a zhlob.

        gothamette

        June 3, 2018 at 11:01 AM

      • This is interesting:

        “Born in Russia and raised in Germany, the college dropout first secured an internship at trendy French fashion magazine Purple, where she created the “Delvey” persona and exploited the contacts she made to launch herself into New York’s social scene, according to the report.”

        https://nypost.com/2018/05/29/wannabe-socialite-claims-rikers-isnt-that-bad/

        She created a persona, and was very successful at it – to a point.

        So did Roseanne.

        Lessons?

        gothamette

        June 3, 2018 at 11:04 AM

      • Living in Manhattan makes you an elite, relative to the rest of the country, regardless of income. Therefore, Lion is an elitist, just like some of the commenters here, who have access to many things at their fingertips.

        This lady pushed the envelope by defrauding people to become the top of the heap, and it landed her in Rikers with NAM jail mates.

        Due to her less attractive looks, she could have sought a Hispanic or a black guy who lives in one of the outlying public housing projects in Manhattan, and still she could have possibly got into elite circles by working one step at a time. She was into fine dining and upscale events. I guess she did, because it seems like one of her friends was a Mulatta, who had to pay a large tab at the exquisite Japanese restaurant, Nobu, where Anna was dining. What really landed her in trouble was her desire for luxury rentals. Again, what separates Manhattanites from each other is neighborhood and housing. The elites of the elites live on the Upper Wealthy Sides in luxury complexes or rowhouses.

        JS

        June 3, 2018 at 11:56 AM


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