Woman who was conned out of $62,000 during a trip with fake heiress Anna Sorokin is branded a ‘gullible idiot’ by unimpressed Lorraine viewers, who claims she’s ‘still getting rich from her ex-friend’
- Rachel DeLoache Williams was conned by Anna Sorokin during a trip to Morocco
- Told Lorraine viewers, Netflix series about the scam ‘cherry picked’ reality
- Said she has been accused of using her testimony as content for entertainment
- Twitter users argued Rachel is profiting from her former friend Anna
A woman whose experience of being conned by a fake heiress is documented in a new Netflix series accused the streaming service of ‘cherry picking’ reality to make their narrative ‘fun’ when she appeared on ITV’s Lorraine.
Speaking from California, Rachel DeLoache Williams explained that she spent a year developing a friendship with convicted fraudster Anna Sorokin, before being scammed out of $62,000 during a lavish trip to Morocco.
The former Vanity Fair photo editor said they met through mutual friends in New York in 2016, and red flags didn’t start to arise until Anna’s card started being declined during their holiday.
She claimed that Netflix’s depiction of their friendship in the hit series Inventing Anna doesn’t accurately show what happened.
The story has divided opinion, with Lorraine viewers showing little sympathy and accusing Rachel of getting ‘rich’ from talking about her former friend Anna.
Rachel DeLoache Williams (pictured) left Lorraine viewers unimpressed as she explained how she was conned by fake heiress Anna Sorokin
Rachel, who developed a close friendship with Anna (pictured together), put a $62,000 bill on her card with a promise that she would be reimbursed
Rachel explained that she was forced to put their $62,000 bill on her card after the hotel refused to let them leave without paying and Anna’s card declined.
Having believed the trip would be all expenses paid, Rachel said she was convinced that Anna would reimburse her.
‘I met Anna through mutual friends one evening while out in New York in 2016. About a year before we went to Marrakesh together,’ Rachel said.
‘She struck me as bold, ambitious and smart. In much the same way I think audiences are now interested in her today.
‘She sort of captivated me with this sort of enigmatic boldness that pulled me in close to her.’
Rachel claimed that their trip to Morocco a year after meeting was supposed to be all expenses paid, but fell apart throughout the week.
Rachel said: ‘Anna’s credit card stopped working and she started to be pulled aside by the hotel managers as the week went on.
‘On the morning of the day of our departure, I woke up and there were two managers that came into the villa and we weren’t allowed to leave until a functioning card was on file.
Many Twitter users accused Rachel of being ‘gullible’, while others argued she’s getting rich of her ex-friend
‘I was boxed into the position of having to give them mine for what I was told would be a temporary hold. Anna said she would send reimbursement by the following Monday but then of course it never arrived.
‘It was a very painful and drawn out realisation [that she wasn’t going to pay me back]. I never thought to question a friend, someone who I had known for a year and really trusted and believed in.
‘I had no reason not to. It was about three months after endless back and forth, fake wire confirmation numbers and she kept moving the goal post further and further away.
‘By the end of that period I realised this is someone who I can’t trust at all and nothing she says has any tangible fact in it. I went from there to law enforcement.’
Rachel said Anna was very ‘artful’ and had the ability to deflect when asked for the money.
Rachel told ITV’s Christine (pictured left) that she went to law enforcement after three months of waiting for Anna to reimburse her
She explained that convicted scammer Anna would avoid saying anything solid that could be held on to as a fact.
‘The debt that she owed me was more than I made in a year at the time,’ Rachel said.
‘I happened to be going on a work trip the week after, it worked out perfectly that I could go from Marrakesh to France.
‘This brief friendship that I thought was fun and not that serious, I didn’t think there was anything at stake really, it morphed into years of reckoning with the emotional and financial impact of a friendship gone terribly wrong.
‘After three months of no reimbursement arriving, I ended up going to the New York District Attorney’s office, where I learned that Anna was the subject of an ongoing investigation and there was a broader pattern of criminal activity.
‘In many ways it was the worst case scenario but it was also the first thing that I had been told that made sense after all the ambiguity.
‘I gave them the information that I had about where she was when, and how I met her and who I heard her speaking about doing business with. I just tried to be as helpful as possible, because after spinning in circles it felt good to be productive.’
Rachel said Netflix’s series (pictured) has depicted the con as ‘fun’ and have ‘cherry picked’ the parts of reality to include
Anna went to trial in April 2019, where a jury found her guilty of eight of 10 charges of fraud and grand larceny.
The fraudster was sentenced to four to 12 years in a state prison, not including the charges brought against her by Rachel.
However she was released early for good behaviour in February last year and now temporarily lives at the NoMad luxury hotel in New York.
‘It was devastating. Today I am happy and I’m doing well, but it will always bother me because there’s an element to this entire experience that is very flashy and distracting,’ Rachel said.
‘Even if you look at how it’s morphed into this Netflix show that is meant to be fun and it’s kind of flipped the narrative upside down.
‘During my testimony I was accused of using it as content for entertainment because I had a book deal, and I was made to disclose the amount that I could possibly earn from that.
Rachel (pictured) said she will never be back to how she was, despite having had the debt redeemed by her credit card company
‘At the same time I was aware that Anna’s lawyer and Anna herself were working with Netflix and there were Netflix writers in the court room.’
Shonda Rhimes produced a 10-part series about Anna for Netflix, showing the Russian born German who moved to the US in 2013, befriending wealthy socialites before conning them out of thousands of dollars under the promise she would transfer funds from Germany.
Sharing her frustration about the series, Rachel said: ‘It’s very surreal because it’s a version of the story that’s completely detached from the majority of truth.
‘This story on Netflix is walking a very thin rope between fact and fiction. It’s cherry picked pieces of reality and rearranged them.
‘I think that’s very dangerous because we as humans, we create belief based on our connection to stories. Con artists are good storytellers and this is another beautiful, intricately woven story that is delivering something that is detached from the people and the events it’s depicting.
Rachel who has had her debt redeemed by the credit card company, explained that it has been a ‘painful’ experience.
She added: ‘I’m proud to have developed resilience, but I will never be back to how I was.’
Anna Delvey: The fake heiress who conned New York high society
Sorokin was born in Russia in 1991 and moved to Germany in 2007 when she was 16 with her younger brother and parents.
Her father had worked as a truck driver and later as an executive at a transport company until it became insolvent in 2013. He then opened a heating-and-cooling business specializing in energy-efficient devices.
After moving to London to attend Central Saint Martins fashion school, Sorokin returned to Berlin and interned in the fashion department of a public relations firm.
She then relocated to Paris where she secured a coveted internship at the French fashion magazine Purple. It’s believed to be around this time that she changed her name from Sorokin to Delvey.
Jailed: Fake heiress Anna Sorokin was jailed for swindling banks, hotels and members of New York high society out of $275,000
Sorokin was already brushing shoulders with rich people in the years before she came to New York and started dazzling Manhattan’s social elite.
Acquaintances say Sorokin had spent several years playing the part of an art-obsessed German heiress across the world.
She rubbed shoulders with the fashion elite at Paris Fashion Week as early as 2013 and was frequently spotted at London nightspots like the Chiltern Firehouse and Loulou’s.
By the time Sorokin arrived in New York in early 2016, she seemingly had the social connections to make a name for herself, as well as a designer-clad wardrobe that exuded wealth.
At the time, she had 40,000 followers on Instagram and was regularly pictured at events and parties with well-to-do people.
She quickly went about proving herself to be an impossibly rich heiress who had plans to shake up New York’s art world.
Anna Delvey a.k.a. Anna Sorokin during her trip to Morocco
She made a show of proving she belonged and would regularly be decked out in her now signature Celine glasses, Gucci sandals and high-end buys from Net-a-Porter and Elyse Walker.
Sorokin rented a $400-a-night room for several months at Manhattan’s expensive 11 Howard hotel and was often seen to pass out $100 tips to concierges and Uber drivers.
She would also splash out on shopping sprees in luxury boutiques, expensive personal training sessions and beautician appointments.
The socialite elite were drawn to her and she would regularly host large dinners for celebrities, artists, CEOs and the like at the lavish Le Coucou restaurant in SoHo.
Sorokin kept up the heiress ruse when she went looking for a $22 million loan to fund her new club in November 2016.
Her fall from grace seemingly began when she was kicked out of the 11 Howard hotel in New York in early 2017, after racking up $30,000 of charges and failing to provide a working credit card.
Around the same time she also chartered a private plane for a trip to Nebraska to try and meet billionaire Warren Buffet.
However, the $35,400 bill was never paid so the charter company cancelled the return leg of her journey.
Upon her return to New York, she was evicted from the 11 Howard hotel and moved to the Mercer hotel around the corner.
She subsequently embarked on a $62,000 extravagant trip to Morocco. Her friend, a former Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel Deloache Williams paid for the flights on her work credit card with the assumption she would be reimbursed as promised by Sorokin.
They checked into a $7,000-a-night villa at the five star resort La Mamounia, which Williams also paid for, after Sorokin promised to pay her back when they returned to New York.
The six-day trip was without hiccups for several days until the hotel staff insisted on putting a credit card on file because Sorokin had booked their trip without a working one.
Williams, who said she had $410 in her checking account at the time said the $70,000 balance was more than she earned in a year.
After months of hassling her for the money, Williams reported Sorokin to police and then the New York district attorney’s office.
Sorokin was then arrested in October 2017 for stealing $275,000 through multiple scams between November 2016 and August 2017.
At a parole board hearing in October 2019, Sorokin apologized for her crimes for the first time.
‘I just want to say that I’m really ashamed and I’m really sorry for what I did,’ she said according to the transcript of the hearing, the New York Post reported.
‘I completely understand that a lot of people suffered when I thought I was not doing anything wrong.’
Sorokin was released from prison on 11 February 2021.
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