The upper echelon of New York City got to know Anna Delvey as a woman who enjoyed an expensive lifestyle, but who only paid for things in cash. This was a young woman who seemed to have the world at her fingertips. However, this illusion disappeared when everything crashed down for her. After that, her life changed completely as did the lives of her friends and acquaintances.
The Mystery Woman
People who know the socialite scene in the Big Apple have heard of a woman called Anna Delvey one way or another. She showed up at important events, but the curious thing was that no one agreed where this socialite came from. One could say that it felt like she just materialized in Soho out of nowhere.
Don’t Be Fooled
One look will be enough for you to see that this was a woman who had money. The way she talked and acted would also clue you in. She simply behaved like she had the world at her fingertips, doing whatever she liked, whenever she wanted. This played an important factor in the story we have for you.
The Right Conditions
She had no permanent address as well. Anna Delvey was the kind of person who stayed at one hotel and then another, though she sometimes left the country for a quick visa run. Our story begins when she stayed at a boutique hotel at 11 Howard Street in Soho.
She Played The Part
Another important thing to keep in mind was that she knew all the right folks. That was the primary reason this hotel did not bother asking her to show a credit card when she came in. Although they were generous in the beginning, they played a part in her downfall too.
The Sweet Life
Essentially, everyone wanted to be Anna Delvey and have her lifestyle. She would go out in high-end fashion and always handed out large tips without giving a damn. The woman also became friends with the young woman called Neffatari Davis, who had been working at the concierge desk at the hotel. Neff, as she is also called, wanted to know more about the mysterious guest right away.
Anna informed her that she was looking into staying there for one month. Although that might sound like a lengthy stay to us, this was nothing unusual from celebrities and other rich people. Whenever she went to the concierge desk, she did not fail to leave a $100 bill as a tip for Neff.
Another Soho Socialite
Neff Davis, of course, had zero reasons not to believe everything that Anna Delvey told her. As far she knew, this was just your regular Soho socialite. She wanted to be friends with the guest. After all, as a promising cinematographer, it was going to be important for Neff to have friends in high places.
She Knew It All
This guest was a typical face at the concierge desk as she liked to ask about destinations and restaurants in the area. However, Neff could tell that Anna Delvey did not truly need help. After all, she was already friends with the owners, bartenders, and even waiters at these places. Why was she doing this?
Looking For A Friend
Sharp as a whip, Neff knew right away that this was not someone looking for a recommendation. The chances were good that the guest was merely trying to befriend her. She must have been looking for a friend at the hotel, and the two got closer eventually. “You just sit there and listen, because that’s your concierge life,” Neff said.
Such interactions did not feel odd to her. However, this was the first time she stayed in touch with a guest when she was off the clock. Soon enough, the two began going to clubs and restaurants together.
Exclusively In Cash
Anna Delvey soon became popular among the hotel staff members because of her $100 tips. “People would fight to take her packages upstairs,” Neff once recounted, “Fight, because you knew you were getting $100.” In their shoes, who wouldn’t be doing the same thing? Clearly, this was a person who knew all too well that money can work better than actions or words. Luckily, she never seemed to run out of $100 bills. In fact, she paid for everything using cash and specifically that denomination. Even though none of them knew how she made her money, they did not bother asking her.
A Vacationing Royal
“She gave to everyone,” said Neff, “Uber drivers, $100 cash. Meals — listen. You know how you reach for your credit card? She wouldn’t let me.” Apart from regular everyday expenses, Anna Delvey treated herself to the services of a life coach or personal trainer for $4,500. That sounds like a jaw-dropping amount, but she did not seem to find anything odd about it. She clearly came from money, no doubt.
Many people tried guessing her background. She had a European accent, so they assumed she hailed from a moneyed family there. It was easy to imagine she was a princess spending time away from home.
Star-Studded Dinner Parties
Apart from getting to know Neff Davis better, Anna Delvey also hosted impressive dinner parties at a French restaurant by the name of Le Coucou. These things always had important people in attendance. The guest list had the names of athletes, celebrities, artists, and CEOs on it.
An Extraverted Person
Among other things, Anna Delvey was gifted with the power of persuasion. Not many of us can say the same thing! Aside from knowing the right people, she was talented at befriending them. She might look like a normal woman from the outside, but she had a way with people that separated her from the rest.
A Way With People
When the Paris Fashion Week was going on, she met a man. According to him, she was a sweet and polite woman who came up to introduce herself. After this, she started to make conversation with the rest of his friends. Anna was, no doubt, a social butterfly.
Right Clothes, Right Time
“She managed to be in all the sort of right places,” described someone else who knew her. Dressed in a fancy outfit, she once went to a Berlin party happening on a private jet. Despite her constant appearances, people still did not know how she made money. Here was what a marketing director named Saleh had to say about it: “There are so many trust-fund kids running around. Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.” Unfortunately for them, they had no idea that Anna was not someone they would want to get to know any deeper.
Footing The Bill
Anna and Michael Xufu Huang first met when they separately attended an art show. He is a museum founder as well as an art collector. The two were fast friends and even went to Italy together to go to the Venice Biennale. However, there were things that she did that bothered him a little. For one thing, Anna asked him to foot her hotel and flight expenses on his card. Although it was “a little weird” for him, he decided to go with it since she promised to reimburse the cost. It was a tiny amount for him anyway.
When they were in Italy, he thought the way she paid for everything in cash was odd. Although it was rather strange, the quirk did not seem like a big deal. They eventually had to return him, of course. Anna Delvey seemed to have forgotten about the promise she made him already! Still, Michael saw this kind of behavior a lot since the rich often forgot about minor details like that. Even he forgot about it himself! Man, don’t you wish you had the same money he did?
Best Birthday Ever Until…
For many people, there is no date more important than their birthday. We can see why would want to go all out on her birthday bash. She went and got a PR firm to organize one for her. She invited many celebrities to the celebration, which included Michael. Her guests had a great time that night and everything seemed to be just fine… However, something came up soon after this.
What Was She Hiding?
A few days after the birthday bash, the firm sent Michael a message that asked him for her contact information. They said, “she didn’t pay her bill”. Michael knew then that something was up with Anna.
Different People, Different Stories
What exactly was happening and what was Anna Delvey up to? Where did she get her money in the first place? People began to take a closer look at the socialite. How weird was it that the people she called her friends were told different stories about her background?
No One Could Agree
As far as one friend of hers knew, her father was a diplomat working in Russia who had “family money”. However, someone else thought that he made a living in the oil industry. How was it possible that people knew different things about the same woman? Who was she really?
Another one of Anna’s friends thought that the family ran an antique company in Germany. Although she gave them such glamorous stories, not one of them happened to be true. In fact, she shook everyone’s world when the truth came out. However, she did not mind the speculations since they only made her even more popular. The more people talked about her origins and identity, the more famous she was. It also became evident that she was not going to give up on her goal no matter the cost.
Her Future Goal
Her ultimate goal was to found her very own art club that was going to be called The Anna Delvey Foundation or ADF for short. She took this seriously enough to hire a creative director from London, Marc Kremers. He was going to help her brand this new and promising business venture.
She even went so far as to look for a location to put the club in. At last, she came across the site at 281 Park Avenue South. She was set on getting this location for her business, although she needed to get millions of dollars in loans to do so. Thanks to her network, she found a person willing to do this.
Promises She Could Not Keep
The person who was trying to help her secure the location even wrote an email for her. Here is an excerpt from the message: “Her personal assets, which are quite substantial, are located outside the US, some of them in a trust with UBS outside the US.” Anna Delvey promised that she could get the money to pay everything back. She also made a promise not to embarrass this firm. However, these turned out to be nothing but lies in the end. Despite this, she worked hard to get the location for her art club.
A Little Help From Her Friends
As her finances started to look even bleaker, she started fundraisers and invited other wealthy people to the dinners she organized. One such guest was the infamous Martin Shkreli, who made international news when he increased the price of a certain piece of medication from $13 to $750. He was eventually convicted on securities charges and is presently imprisoned. “Anna did seem to be a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone,” was what he had to say about Anna Delvey. “Even though I was nationally known, I felt like a computer geek next to her.” She actually learned something important from him, which she will be putting to use later on in the story.
The Beginning Of The End
There was no doubt that Anna Delvey was dead set on launching the foundation of her dreams. “She was always on the phone with lawyers,” said Neff in reference to the conversations she overheard at 11 Howard Street. “They were always toning her down. Like, ‘Anna, you’re trying to make something that’s worth this much be worth that much, and that’s just not how it works.’”
It All Came Crashing Down
A pivotal moment in the story involved Anna taking her out to dinner. After finishing their food, it was time to pay. However, the socialite ran into a problem with all the credit cards she had on her. Her 12 credit cards got declined. This set off alarm bells for Neff.
Time To Pay The Bill
Anna Delvey seemed to be undergoing cash flow issues, but was that all there was to the story? In reality, the situation was much worse than this. For one thing, she had not paid for her room at the boutique hotel just yet. They didn’t even have a credit card for her on file. Until that moment, she received special treatment since she was a German socialite who was going to buy a property from the owner of this hotel. Although they were fine with the idea of a wire transfer, they still had yet to receive a cent a month and a half later.
Facing The Music
The hotel manager instructed Neff to take care of Anna Delvey’s bill since they were friends. In a nutshell, Anna owed the hotel $30,000 for her stay at the hotel. The concierge still thought that all was well with Anna’s finances, so she had no hesitations approaching her about it. Anna only reiterated that there should be a wire transfer coming in soon. It was the same old song and dance as she did not divulge the actual state of her finances. Although things were falling apart, a surprise came soon…
Enough With The Games
The hotel eventually received a $30,000 wire transfer to cover the costs of her stay! You might think that all was back to normal for her, and that was likely what she thought as well. However, she was not going to get out of this situation that easily.
After all, the hotel management still wanted her to give them a working credit card number just in case. This was sound logic as her bill would continue growing as she continued to stay in the room. The hotel put its foot on the ground and told her to give them a credit card. Otherwise, they would lock her out.
Failure To Do So
True enough, they actually did change the code on her door when she did not comply with the request. Anna got mad since she was being treated like a commoner. It was after this incident that she decided to use a scheme she got from Martin Shkreli. She bought web domains in the names of the hotel managers and sent them the proof. If the time came that they wanted to use them, she said she would charge them hefty amounts! She did not have to worry about a new place to stay at just yet as she headed to Morocco with her personal trainer and a videographer called Rachel Williams.
Troubles in Morocco
There were many problems that arose from this Morocco trip. After several days in Marrakech, the personal trainer ended up with food poisoning and returned to the United States earlier than everyone else. Several days later, the trainer picked up her phone and heard a hysterical Anna Delvey on the other end. Apparently, her credit card failed to work and the hotel staff was planning to call the police. She asked if the trainer could cover the costs and just pay the amount back later. The trainer agreed to this, but two of her cards got declined as well. The hotel admitted that there could be a problem with the system.
Kicked Out Again And Again
When she got back to the United States, Anna Delvey decided to check into a different hotel. The same issue came up. Go figure. She was unable to show them a valid credit card to pay off the $11,518 bill she incurred. They did not only kick her out – they detained her belongings as well. She was now homeless.
Have you ever heard of a homeless socialite? Anna Delvey gave the hotel scheme another shot, but she got kicked out a few days after settling in. She then contacted the personal trainer and requested the spend the night at her place. Although the trainer did not like the idea, she conceded after Anna said she would kill herself. Even though she was in the middle of the date, the trainer allowed Anna to stay.
Scamming A Friend
We still have not talked about the resolution of her Morocco trip problem. She managed to get out of the sticky situation by having Rachel Williams pay for the hotel stay. When they made arrest threats, the videographer put $62,000 on her AmEx card. Apparently, that was an amount higher than her annual net! After finding out what happened after she left, she decided she could not do this. She came to the realization that Anna Delvey was not who she said she was. They were being duped by their friend!
Not Welcome Here
The trainer asked the German socialite to get her things and leave. However, Anna left her computer behind, perhaps hoping that she could stay again when she came to get it. The trainer had enough sense to see through this plan and left the laptop at the front desk. When Anna Delvey returned to get it, she still refused to leave without seeing the personal trainer. She insisted that it was an important matter, but she did not get the leave to come up to the house. Everything was unraveling for her all at once.
An Intervention Of Sorts
She eventually ran out of places to enact her go-to hotel scheme. We don’t blame them since she really did not have the means to pay for her stay. She even got desperate enough to ask her lawyer to let her stay with him. However, he refused as his family was there. He ended up getting in touch with her personal trainer. After asking if she could let Anna stay there, she refused. However, she did end up telling Anna to come meet her at a restaurant. The plan was to hold an intervention for the socialite.
This group intervention had been harsh, and rightfully so. After all, Anna Delvey swindled them out of a sizable amount of money! She began to cry at one point and promised to make it up to them as soon as she signed the lease on the property she wanted. This was when they had to break it to her – the site she wanted so badly for the foundation had already gone to a different company. She could not believe it and insisted this was nothing but “fake news”. What happened next shocked everyone.
A Talented Con-Artist
There were quite a number of articles spreading around about her by then. Some of these referred to Anna Delvey as a “wannabe socialite”. She was upset to hear herself called such a thing, of course. Of course, she reiterated that these were all lies. We can see just how headstrong this young woman was as she still insisted she had family money. She said she just blew through her allowance, that was all.
Rachel still felt something was amiss, so she conducted her own investigation. She sent the New York District Attorney’s Office an email and attached an article about Anna Delvey. She told them, “I think this woman is a con-artist.” She then got a call from them. They told her, “We think you’re right.”
Different State, Same Girl
Anna Delvey was soon arrested for her unpaid hotel bills. One newspaper reported on the story with this headline: “WANNABE SOCIALITE BUSTED FOR SKIPPING OUT ON PRICEY HOTEL BILLS.” Anna then hired a lawyer but got out on bail. After that, life seemed to go back to normal for her. She even went to California for a vacation, although she ended up getting arrested when she was in Malibu. She was sent back to New York because she was about “to face six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, in addition to theft of services.”
The Truth Comes Out
Anna Delvey was taken to Rikers Island jail and had no option to post bail this time. She awaited trial and could possibly face 15 years of imprisonment. The German heiress persona had been a lie the whole time. In reality, she was Anna Sorokin, a Russian national born in 1991. Her family immigrated to Germany in 2007. Although she claimed she had family money, her family was actually working-class. They had no clue what trust fund she had been talking about! As you can imagine, many of the people in her New York circles were shocked to find out about this.
An Offer And Counter-Offer
Even though she got caught, Anna had the audacity to charm her way out of the mess. She proposed a plea deal that came with only one to three years in jail. The presiding judge decisively rejected this and offered her a counter deal. How did you think Anna responded to the idea of three to nine years imprisonment? She refused this reasonable proposal and made to decision to go to trial. What do you think happened to this mysterious lady?
No Remorse For Her Actions
The judge presiding over the case was Justice Diane Kiesel. According to her, she saw “no remorse” from Anna. She explained that there was no way she was going to accept the plea offer since it was basically just a “slap on the wrist”. Bad news, Anna. The judges are out to serve justice out here. They were ready to do everything in their power to ensure that justice is carried out. They were looking into giving her 15 years in prison for all of her crimes.
A Netflix Adaptation
Anna awaits trial, but did you know that Netflix is planning to make a series about her life? The judge of the case even talked about how much more interested she was in the casting of the show than repenting for and reflecting on the crimes she committed. “This place is not that bad at all actually,” she described Rikers Island. “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” According to her lawyer, she was doing perfectly fine inside of prison.
Just Like A Sociological Experiment
“She is like a unicorn in there,” was the quirky description her lawyer gave her. Apparently, she was once again quick to befriend other people in there. She even finds the murderers fascinating. Clearly, she was enjoying watching and observing the rest of the inmates. “This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy,” she explained. Well, you can see why there are people who feel concerned about all the things she will get to learn about crime inside of there.
Her Dream Location
You can probably tell this is the case, but her goal of starting the Anna Delvey Foundation did not become a reality. Last July, the space she decided to get had already been leased out to the Swedish photo agency, Fotografiska. We have seen how set she was on getting the 281 Park Avenue South location, she must have been disappointed at the turn of events. And yet, she is not giving up on her dream just yet. She has admitted that she did some things wrong but insisted that this “doesn’t diminish the hundred things” everything she “did right.” Besides, how did she swindle so many people anyway?
How To Get Away With Fraud
The experts assigned to her case have all come to the conclusion that Anna conned $275,000 out of banks, people, and hotels. She successfully did this with the use of falsified documents, which she provided to obtain banks loans. The documents said she also took out millions of euros from European banks. She floated bad checks and withdrew credits she had no way to pay back. We bet she was planning to pay it all off when the business took off. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option for her.
Brilliant But Doomed To Fail
If we can be honest, we will have to admit that she was rather brilliant about the whole situation. Not many people can live like a socialite, but she managed to do it with swindling, check-kiting, false documents, and loans. However, it was only right that she got caught eventually. Maybe things would have turned out fine if she got around to launching the ADF right away and earned a killing before everything started to unravel. If this was the case, she could have been a real socialite. Oh well.
Dropping Her A Line
Somehow, her Instagram account managed to stay active even though she is now in jail. We are pretty sure that inmates are not allowed to go on Instagram in there, but we thought the posts remain fascinating. She clearly loves being the center of attention, that is for sure. She even tells people to write her letters while she is at Rikers Island. If you want to, go ahead and do it. However, it might not be wise to come and visit her in person. After all, this is a girl who knows how to use her words to get her way!