Anna Sorokin, the woman who posed as a German heiress and swindled New York’s social elite and numerous institutions out of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the name Anna Delvey, may not be able to cash in on the forthcoming Netflix series based on her story.
The New York Post on Monday reported that the office of the New York State attorney general recently filed a request to bar Sorokin from profiting from the series under “Son of Sam” law, which prevents criminals from spinning their crimes into profit through, for example, a lucrative Netflix deal.
The Post cited court documents as stating that a $US30,000 ($42,833) check from Netflix had already been paid out but went directly to Sorokin’s attorney Todd Spodek to cover legal fees. The request reportedly seeks to block an additional $US70,000 ($99,943) due to Sorokin for the series as well as an additional $US7,500 ($10,708) for royalties and $US15,000 ($21,416) for consulting per episode.
The New York Times reported the request was filed in State Supreme Court in Albany in May and asserts that the money Sorokin would receive from the series should instead be redirected to the New York State Office of Victim Services. A judge has since ordered that aside from the $US30,000 ($42,833) sum to cover Sorokin’s legal fees, Netflix is not to pay her until the issue is resolved.
Spodek did not immediately return a request for comment about the issue but told the Times that he anticipates resolving it “without further litigation.”
Sorokin was convicted in April of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny, and a single count of attempted grand larceny, after carrying on a scam of unbelievable scale that hinged on the lie that she was a German heiress with a small fortune tied up in a trust fund overseas.
After moving to New York in 2014, Sorokin managed to swindle hotels, restaurants, friends, and banks out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. She spent much of her time in NYC’s Soho neighbourhood, earning her the moniker of “Soho Grifter.”
Sorokin was sentenced in May to four to 12 years in prison. Speaking to the New York Times after her sentencing, Sorokin said she’d “be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I went about certain things.”
That lack of remorse for bilking the rich and living her best life has made Sorokin a bit of a folk hero for some of the public.
Deadline reported in June that Shonda Rhimes would write the series adaptation for Netflix of Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine story about Sorokin’s spectacular grift. And, lest you fear that this unbelievable shitshow of a saga is anywhere close to its logical end, HBO is also working on an adaptation of the grifter’s saga.
Lena Dunham is producing.