Where Is Anna Delvey? How Conflicting Reports Led to Confusion About Fake Heiress' Deportation Status

The 31-year-old German citizen, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, was previously convicted of posing as an heiress and scamming N.Y.C. elites — a scheme chronicled in the Netflix series Inventing Anna

Anna Sorokin
Anna Sorokin aka Anna Delvey. Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/getty

Anna Sorokin, better known under the alias Anna Delvey, is facing deportation to Germany after spending nearly a year in U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention — but the exact details of her immigration battle were put into question following recent confusion about her whereabouts.

On Monday, the texting app that allows the public to communicate with inmates in ICE detention notified people that Sorokin, now 31, had been released from custody, according to multiple outlets. Unable to get in touch with her, and knowing that she was at risk of being deported, those close to her quickly feared that her sudden release was evidence of imminent deportation.

"Legally, they should not be able to deport her until the 19th. That is due to the deportation order being signed on February 17 and that allows us to have 30 days to file an appeal," Manny Arora, a defense attorney for Sorokin, said in a statement Monday obtained by NBC News. "But we are dealing with bureaucracy, and there are numerous filings in her case so you just never know if there was a paperwork error."

The statement continued: "I haven't heard from Miss Sorokin this afternoon, and so I am working under the presumption that she is being deported."

But as European reporters waited outside Frankfurt Airport to capture her arrival in Germany, Sorokin was nowhere to be found, prompting confusion about whether she had actually been expelled from the United States.

On Tuesday morning, German news outlet Der Spiegel solved the mystery, reporting that the deportation failed at the last moment when Sorokin refused to leave for the airport while her lawyers filed a motion to stay the decision.

A spokesperson for ICE confirmed to PEOPLE Tuesday afternoon that she remains in a New York detention center "pending removal."

Though Sorokin's deportation was delayed, it wasn't canceled, and Der Spiegel reports that U.S. authorities are trying to secure a new date for her departure — presumably after the window for her to appeal expulsion closes on Saturday.

"I spoke to Anna this morning. She was confused and a little concerned," Arora told The New York Post on Tuesday. "When you don't know what your future holds, when you can't call people when you want to to get information, it makes you anxious and frustrated. She's staying positive, but it's hard on her."

Anna Sorokin.

Sorokin rose to prominence in 2017 when she was arrested for posing as a German heiress and swindling New York City elites out of an estimated $200,000. She was convicted of eight felony charges in 2019 and given a prison sentence of four to 12 years by a judge who claimed to be "stunned by the depth of [her] deception."

Two years into her prison sentence, Sorokin was released on good behavior — only to be detained by the ICE six weeks later, on March 25, 2021, for overstaying her visa. In an open letter published on Insider.com last month, she claimed that the visa debacle was "unintentional" and "largely out of my control," and asserted that she followed all of New York state's and ICE's parole rules.

She added, "While I was in prison, I paid off the restitution from my criminal case in full to the banks I took money from. I also accomplished more in the six weeks they deemed were long enough for me to remain free than some people have in the past two years."

Still, Sorokin said an immigration judge ruled that if she was freed from detention right now and required to report to ICE regularly, she "would have the ability and inclination to continue to commit fraudulent and dishonest acts," according to the Insider essay.

In February, Shonda Rhimes' dramatized series Inventing Anna premiered on Netflix, chronicling the rise and fall of Sorokin, portrayed by Julia Garner. She reportedly sold Netflix the rights to her story for $320,000, which helped her pay off attorney fees, state fines and other debts owed.

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