High-society grifter Anna Sorokin says her rights are being violated by ‘indefinite’ immigration detention
Lawyers for Anna Sorokin, the Russian-German conwoman who hoodwinked New York City’s society circles as eccentric ‘heiress’ Anna Delvey, asked a federal judge to order her release from immigration detention on Thursday.
Sorokin is neither a threat nor a flight risk, a spokesman said, arguing she not only “deserves the chance to build her life” but should be able to do so in the US.
The conwoman has been in custody for 17 months on charges of overstaying her visa when she first arrived in New York years ago. If the judge won’t free her, customs authorities could grant her a bond hearing “to vindicate her constitutional right to be free from indefinite, unreasonably prolonged, or arbitrary civil immigration detention,” attorney Juseyin Tosun argued in the motion filed in the Southern District of New York.
Immigration authorities denied Sorokin a bond hearing in July after her previous lawyer, who called her an “ungrateful b**ch” who believed that “being white is enough” for a legal defense, delayed proceedings for months by failing to turn over her file. As a result, she has gone more than 10 months without a hearing, when civil immigration detainees are entitled to one every six months. Should Sorokin opt to return to Germany instead of trying to stay in the US, she would be free to go.
The phony heiress was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for grand larceny and theft of services in 2019, having scammed over $200,000 from banks, hotels, restaurants, other businesses, and friends while trying to talk her way into a $22 million loan to launch an “art club” in Manhattan.
While she was released early on good behavior in 2021, ICE nabbed her on the visa charge less than two months thereafter. She remains incarcerated at Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York.
The subject of a Netflix series and a forthcoming HBO documentary, Sorokin became an object of fascination after a New York magazine piece describing how the Russian-born immigrant spun an entirely fictional existence as the heiress to a $67 million German oil fortune, duping the city’s society circles and fancy hotels into propping up her fantasy despite having hardly any money herself.
Her unapologetic demeanor and courtroom style won her legions of social media fans, whom she did not disappoint following her release, documenting every moment with a personal videographer.