Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, the notorious Russian-born scammer convicted of fleecing New York City’s high society by pretending to be a German heiress, is mired in federal jail. But on Wednesday morning, she finally landed a modest victory in her bid to stave off deportation and win an appeal in a hearing that descended into chaos.
Sorokin’s current attorneys claim that the outcast socialite’s former lawyer has refused to turn over her court file despite countless requests for cooperation in their attempts to keep her on U.S. soil. Manhattan Judge Diane Kiesel ruled in her favor on Wednesday, ordering that her former attorney, Audrey Thomas, turn over the relevant paperwork.
Yet what should have been a routine procedural affair was anything but.
Attorney Duncan Levin told The Daily Beast that while Thomas initially told the court she did not have any documents in connection with Sorokin’s case, under questioning from the judge, Thomas admitted to having “boxes and boxes” of case files. After Thomas engaged in a tense argument with Kiesel, the judge ordered Thomas to FedEx all the files to Levin by August 5.
“It was really crazy,” Levin said, adding that Wednesday’s hearing represented “a win in a fight we shouldn’t have to fight in the first place.”
A state court spokesperson confirmed Kiesel’s ruling but declined to comment about any fracas.
In an interview, Thomas confirmed the hearing went sideways, indicating that Kiesel told her to “get out,” while stressing that she was not “FedExing shit” to Levin and his legal team because “all this is bullshit.”
Calling Sorokin a “dangerous, devious little bitch,” Thomas claimed that Sorokin still owes her money—though Levin denies that allegation.
“If [Levin] wants it FedExed, he can send me a label,” she added. “I am going to appeal the ruling.”
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Sorokin stressed that Thomas “had a responsibility to her… and didn’t fulfill it,” pointing to allegations of Thomas intentionally not handing over case files detailed in her legal team’s motion.
“In fact, what she has done has potentially caused harm,” Sorokin added. “I’m pleased that the judge awarded me my own files and casework so that my current attorneys can effectively help me.”
The bizarro hearing represents one of the few breaks Sorokin has caught after years of disgrace in court and the public eye.
In April 2019, she was convicted of swindling financial institutions and businesses out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to bankroll a lavish Manhattan lifestyle. After her February 2021 release from New York State prison and paying back her victims, Sorokin found herself back in jail just weeks later after Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took her into custody. Authorities argued that Sorokin should remain in custody until she is deposited back to Germany, where she is a legal resident.
The deportation process has been delayed as Sorokin fights to appeal her case. According to a filing by her legal team this month, the appellant process has been held up for months thanks at least in part to Thomas refusing to hand over case information after she was fired from working on the appeal and immigration cases.
When Thomas and Sorokin parted ways this spring, the lawyer called her ex-client an “ungrateful bitch” in an interview with Insider. She added that her experience with Sorokin was a reminder to “eschew the evil that she tries to inspire in me and all who try to help her.”
The court documents in support of the order to show cause filed in Manhattan Supreme Court also include 27 pages of exhibits—and scores of emails between Levin and Thomas about the case filed. In one April 7 email, Thomas offers justification for her delay to turn over the file, stating: “I do not work the month of April for it is my birth month and therefore, I am out of the country until April 30, 2022. Anna is fully aware of this.”
In another July 13 email, according to court documents, Thomas asked Levin to “stop contacting me like we are personally involved.”
“Keep your narratives to yourself and save your theatrics for when Anna throws you in front of a truck to save Anna,” Thomas wrote in the email. “Keep our communications strictly professional and do not send me paragraphs of useless self-destructive foolishness that isn’t based in fact or reason.”
“Keep in mind you are next in line for an ‘AnnaSorokining,’” Thomas added.