After serving more than five years behind bars, Anna Delvey is a free(ish) woman. The subject of Netflix’s Inventing Anna, who scammed New York’s elite out of hundreds of thousands of dollars while posing as a German heiress, Delvey (real name: Anna Sorokin) was released from ICE custody on Friday, Oct. 7, as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to the Associated Press.
Delvey was convicted of several financial crimes, including grand larceny and stealing a private jet, and a judge sentenced her to four to 12 years in prison in May 2019. She spent three years in prison, before serving an additional 18 months in immigration detention for overstaying her visa. (Delvey was born in the former Soviet Union and has German citizenship.) After her art dealer, Chris Martine, posted her $10,000 bond on Oct. 7, authorities transported her from the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York, to Manhattan, where she completed additional paperwork before ICE agents drove her to a new one-bedroom apartment in New York City’s East Village. She is now on home confinement as she fights to remain in the United States.
The conditions of Delvey’s home confinement stipulate that she must wear an ankle monitor and refrain from social media posting. (She racked up more than 1 million Instagram followers while behind bars.) After a federal immigration judge issued his order, Delvey’s attorney Duncan Levin said in a statement that she “is thrilled to be getting out so she can focus on appealing her wrongful conviction,” per the AP.
Delvey said as much herself while entering her new Manhattan apartment shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 7, telling the New York Post in the building’s hallway that she was “just happy to be back” in NYC. Meanwhile, the convicted con woman also told the paper that it would not be difficult to stay off of social media and that she would not attempt to leave her apartment. As for her future plans, she simply said, “I don’t know. We’ll have to just wait and see.”
Though she was released from detention, “this doesn’t mean she gets to stay in the United States,” Delvey’s immigration attorney John Sandweg explained to the New York Times. “All this means is that she gets to continue to aggressively pursue all her cases out of jail, off the taxpayer’s dime — and she gets to do it from home.”
A former ICE director under President Barack Obama, Sandweg added that he took Delvey’s case because of the way it exemplified larger issues within the U.S. immigration system. “We have an overreliance on detention, and her case is a good example of that,” he told the Times, referencing the effectiveness of ankle bracelets. “There are robust enforcement mechanisms that are cheaper, more humane, and just as effective.”
Prosecutors alleged at trial that the now-31-year-old grifter (portrayed by Emmy winner Julia Garner in Inventing Anna) ingratiated herself with members of NYC’s elite by falsely claiming she was the daughter of a diplomat or an oil baron and had a $67 million fortune overseas. They further argued that she had falsified records and lied to banks, luxury hotels, as well as her alleged victims, stealing a total of $275,000. Her ultimate undoing was a failed attempt to con investors in connection to a supposed Park Avenue arts social club she wanted to open.