Inventing Anna: The New Netflix Miniseries About The Woman Who Scammed New York’s Elite

By Rufus Punt | 10th February 2022

The story of one of the world’s most famous fraudsters is coming to Netflix: Inventing Anna tells the story of Anna Sorokin, or Anna Delvey as she called herself, and how she convinced the elites of New York that she was a multi-millionaire, and was able to live that lifestyle herself.

There’s been a number of big series about fraud on Netflix: we’ve covered The Puppet Master and The Tinder Swindler in the last few weeks. What makes scammers so strangely watchable? Our interest seems to come down to how they got away with their fiendish cons, how they deceived people to make them believe their tales, and the often outlandish things they would claim. Anna Sorokin is certainly one of the most ambitious fraudsters in modern times, considering she convinced the super rich that she was one of them.

This new miniseries comes from Shonda Rhimes, one of TV’s best talents: the creator behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Bridgerton amongst many others brings her characteristic style and flair to the miniseries. Starring as Anna is Julia Garner, who’s appeared in acclaimed roles in Ozark and The Americans. The series will span nine episodes, each an hour long, and arrives on Netflix on 11th February.

The central subject of the series, Anna Sorokin, is a Russian-German who travelled to the US in 2013. It was there that she decided to create the idea of the “Anna Delvey Foundation”, using the name she had started calling herself a few years earlier. She pitched this to a number of NYC’s wealthiest, including tycoon Aby Rosen and entrepreneur Roo Rogers. Her proposals weren’t very successful however, and so she began applying for a $22 million dollar loan from City National Bank.

Through a number of other scams and fraudulent applications, including staying in luxury hotels like the 11 Howard without paying, Sorokin defrauded around $250,000 out of New York’s elite companies. In the inventing Anna Series, we see this spree being followed by the reporter Vivian Kent, a fictionalised version of the real life journalist who told her story, Jessica Pressler.

The series is a gripping recounting of these unbelievable events, based off Pressler’s New York article “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People.” There’s some parts that are made up, (“This whole story is completely true. Except for all of the parts that are totally made up” says Netflix) but fit the story of what happened and serve to add to the drama. As Anna’s schemes start to fall apart, the show just gets better and better. Julia Garner makes a great fraudster, with a smug knowing air to her, while remaining very watchable and highly enjoyable.

Unlike with other scam stories, there’s a sense of the super rich being pulled down a few pegs with the Anna Delvey story, but Shonda Rimes makes sure that Inventing Anna shows the impact Sorokin had on the individuals caught up in her schemes, and makes you empathise with them considering many of them had considered the fictional Delvey a friend. The series is worth nine hours of your time to dive into the world of people who are wealthier than wealthy.


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