NEW YORK: Anna Sorokin, the German con artist who passed herself off as a wealthy heiress to swindle banks, hotels and even close friends as she lived out a high-society, Instagram-ready fantasy in New York, was sentenced Thursday to four to 12 years in prison.
The 28-year-old, who had played with her own tabloid image during the trial by wearing stylish dresses to court, looked despondent as the verdict was announced. She pressed her hand to her face and squeezed her eyes shut, appearing to hold back tears.
Judge Diane Kiesel said Sorokin had been “blinded by the glitter and glamour of New York City” as she turned to fraud to finance a life she could never afford. But the judge turned down a request by Sorokin’s lawyers to sentence her to the time she has already spent in jail awaiting trial.
“I am stunned by the depth of the defendant’s deception,” Kiesel said, adding that she hoped to send a message to Sorokin’s internet following “that her behavior is unacceptable.”
“Certainly she didn’t think about the people she scammed,” the judge added.
The sentencing capped a spectacular case that drew international attention and tabloid headlines. Netflix and HBO are both working on shows based on Sorokin’s audacious efforts to finagle her way into the Manhattan socialite scene.
She was convicted last month on multiple counts of larceny and theft and has been in custody since her October 2017 arrest – time behind bars that will be credited toward her sentence. The judge also ordered Sorokin to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution and a $24,000 fine.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said it will seek to deport Sorokin to Germany following her release from state prison.
Moments before she was sentenced, Sorokin briefly addressed the court, saying, “I apologize for the mistakes I made.”