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Socialite Owes BigLaw Firms Big Time, Prosecutors Say

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 01, 2019 | Last updated on April 05, 2019

Anna Sorokin talked a good game, enough to talk big law firms out of their fees.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Perkins Coie, and Lowenstein Sandler all bought into her story. She said she was a German heiress, and needed legal representation for cultural projects.

About a quarter million dollars in fees later, they found out the backstory: it was a bigtime scam.

BigLaw Scam

Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey, allegedly ran a scam on banks, businesses, hotels, and friends. They say she got away with $275,000 before authorities caught up with her.

Prosecutors charged her with grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, and theft of services. The BigLaw scam was different; Sorokin stiffed the attorneys on $255,000 in legal fees.

She employed Gibson Dunn to help her obtain a loan for an arts center. She kept them working on it with a story about a wire transfer, according to reports.

Perkins Coie stepped into it a little deeper. They billed her $160,000 for work on renting a space for an arts club, which didn't happen.

Too Prejudicial

At the criminal trial in New York, prosecutors wanted to introduce evidence of the unpaid legal bills.

Sorokin's attorney asked the judge to exclude any testimony about it. The judge granted the request, saying it was too prejudicial.

In the meantime, the whole story may come out on HBO and Netflix.

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