Cashing out | 

Fake heiress Anna Delvey won't make any money from Netflix series about scams

The fake German heiress was paid $320,000 for rights to her life story by the streaming giant

Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in 'Inventing Anna'. Picture by Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Clodagh Meaney

By now you’ve probably heard the name Anna Delvey, or Anna Sorokin, depending who you ask.

She is the infamous fake German "heiress" who scammed her way to the top of New York high society by pretending she was someone she’s not.

Her story isn’t completely unique though.

In the last few months we’ve watched The Tinder Swindler, listened to Sweet Bobby and followed the high profile trial of Elizabeth Holmes, and we know that for the victims of these scammers, the financial damage is very real, and very traumatic.

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Anna’s almost unbelievable story recently played out for the world to see on Netflix show Inventing Anna, which was based on a New York Magazine article written by journalist Jessica Pressiler.

Netflix purchased the rights to Anna’s life story for a whopping €281,500 ($320,000) and turned her tale into a nine episode series detailing her time at school in Germany right up to her time behind bars awaiting trial.

The story told how Anna, played by Julia Garner, scammed big banks, luxury hotels, members of the New York elite, and even people who considered her a friend.

It followed journalist Vivian Kent (based on Jessica Presslier) as she began to unravel the world of Anna Delvey by interviewing those closest to her, harassing her lawyer and visiting her in jail.

And while $320,000 would usually leave Anna with dollar signs in her eyes, the 31-year-old was surely disappointed to learn that will not see a single cent of the money - thanks to a New York law which prevents criminals from profiting off their crimes.

The Son of Sam law was passed by the New York legislator in 1977 in order to prevent serial killer David Berkowitz, known as Son of Sam, from making money by selling his story to a book publisher.

The infamous New York killer took six lives between 1976 and 1977.

Although rarely invoked, the Son of Sam law will ensure that Anna Delvey won’t bank any coin from her small screen biography.

Instead, the money from the Netflix show was paid to her victims.

$199,000 of the money paid restitution to the banks, $24,000 went towards settling her fine and $75,000 went towards paying attorney fees.

Anna was jailed in 2019 after being found guilty on eight charges including grand larceny in the second degree, attempted grand larceny, and theft of services.

She was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison and fined $24,000.

After spending less than two years behind bars, she was released from prison on February 11th 2021.

She is currently in ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody for overstaying her VISA in the United States and is awaiting deportation to Germany.


Today's Headlines

More World Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices