Anna Delvey: 5 Things About The Real-Life Con Artist At The Center Of ‘Inventing Anna’

Anna Delvey's life story is the focus of Shonda Rhimes' latest Netflix show 'Inventing Anna.' Anna's actual life is just as wild as the one told in the new series. Here's what you need to know.

Anna Delvey
View gallery
Image Credit: Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock

Netflix’s newest series Inventing Anna is exploring the jaw-dropping scandal involving real-life con artist Anna Delvey. She rose through the Manhattan social hierarchy ranks, but her tricks were ultimately exposed and landed her in prison. Her story was first told in the New York article “Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It,” written by Jessica Pressler, which was the basis for the Netflix show.

Ozark star Julia Garner plays Anna Delvey in Inventing Anna, which will premiere on February 11. But who is the real Anna Delvey? From her past to where she is now, HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key facts you need to know.

Anna Delvey
The real Anna Delvey. (Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock)

1. Anna Delvey is not her real name.

Anna’s real name is actually Anna Sorokin. Anna claimed that her friends and associates knew her as Anna Delvey and that “Delvey” is her mother’s maiden name, according to The New York Times. However, her parents told New York that they did not recognize the last name “Delvey.” She began going by Anna Delvey after her internship at Purple magazine.

2. Anna pretended to be a German heiress.

Anna became known as the “Soho grifter” and “Soho scammer” after she pretended to be a German heiress with a $67 million trust fund, prosecutors claimed. She was actually a Russian immigrant. She deceived Manhattan’s elite and defrauded hotels, restaurants, a private jet operator, and banks out of around $275,000 over the course of 10 months. She allegedly even convinced a bank employee to give her $100,000 she never intended to pay back. She sought to create an exclusive club called the Anna Delvey Foundation and attempted to get $20 million in loans.

3. Anna went to prison.

Anna was arrested in 2017 and convicted in May 2019 on 8 counts, including grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, and theft of services, according to ABC News. She was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison, fined $24,000, and ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution. She served almost 4 years and was released in February 2021 on good behavior.

4. Anna is currently in ICE custody.

After being released from prison, Anna was rearrested by ICE six weeks later because she overstayed her visa. She has been in custody ever since and is waiting to see if she’ll be deported to Germany, according to Insider. “My visa overstay was unintentional and largely out of my control,” she explained. “I served my prison sentence, but I’m appealing my criminal conviction to clear my name. I did not break a single one of New York state’s or ICE’s parole rules. Despite all that, I’ve yet to be given a clear and fair path to compliance.”

Julia Garner
Julia Garner as Anna Delvey. (Netflix)

5. Anna was paid by Netflix.

Netflix paid Anna a whopping $320,000 for the rights to her life story, Insider revealed. She used $199,000 of the money to pay restitution to the banks and paid another $24,000 to settle state fines. On top of the $223,000 she’s already spent, Anna has also paid $75,000 in attorney fees.

More From Our Partners