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Fake heiress Anna Sorokin, who scammed New York’s elite, swindled her now-disbarred lawyer out of $152K: Lawsuit

Anna Sorokin

Fake German heiress Anna Sorokin is led away after being sentenced in Manhattan Supreme Court on May 9, 2019, following her conviction on multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Serial con artist Anna Sorokin also cheated her now-disbarred appellate attorney out of more than $152,000 in legal services, a new lawsuit alleges.

Posing as a fake German heiress, the Soviet-born Sorokin took the name Anna Delvey in targeting New York’s wealthy and powerful. Her prosecution for grand larceny laid bare how she stole more than $275,000 from major financial institutions, banks, hotels, and her personal acquaintances in the United States over the course of four years from 2013 and 2017.

Convicted on May 9, 2019, Sorokin served two years of a four to 12-year sentence, before being released to immigration custody for possible deportation back to Germany. The new lawsuit credits Sorokin’s ability to avert a final reckoning in her removal proceedings to the efforts of her former attorney: Audrey Thomas.

“[Sorokin] was able to remain in the United States because while she was taken to the airport and literally sitting in the gate area with her belongings in garbage bags, [Thomas and her firm] filed a writ and secured a stay from deportation removal and thus the Defendant was not removed from the United States,” the lawsuit states.

Thomas claims that Sorokin defrauded her out of $152,828.38, by filing false allegations against her to the grievance committee.

Sorokin agreed to sign a contingency fee arrangement “as a way of guaranteeing payment for the astronomical legal fees” that she racked up, according to the complaint.

Facing criminal prosecution of her own, Thomas has been disbarred for alleged financial improprieties since November 2022. She alleges that Sorokin was well aware of her legal troubles at the beginning of their attorney-client relationship.

“Anna knew about my legal issues prior to my disbarment as I was facing criminal charges at the time that Anna retained me as I was arrested on July 29, 2019 and that arrest was a highly publicized event as I was on the front cover of several newspapers,” Thomas swore in an affidavit. “Anna actually told me that she hired me because she believed that if anyone would fight for her I would because I know what it is like to be wrongfully accused and publicly shamed.”

Thomas says that Sorokin filed grievances and three other legal actions against her to advance her personal interests.

“The false statements by [Sorokin] against Plaintiffs’ interest were made for the sole purpose of causing injury to Plaintiffs and to damage Plaintiffs’ reputation and standing, in the community,” the complaint states.

Thomas and her firm are both listed separately as plaintiffs. The five-count complaint alleges fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of contract and other causes of action.

Sorokin’s attorney Duncan P. Levin, who represents her in litigation the fake heiress brought against Thomas, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. Neither did an attorney for Thomas.

Read the complaint here.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."