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Prosecutors ask judge to stop fake heiress profiting from Netflix show

Anna Sorokin (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Anna Sorokin (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Prosecutors have asked a New York judge to prevent a con artist who posed as a German heiress from cashing in on a Netflix production expected to highlight her extravagant ruse.

The New York Attorney General’s Office recently challenged the contract Anna Sorokin signed last year for the rights to her now-infamous life story, invoking a state law that bans criminals from profiting from their own notoriety.

State prosecutors wrote in court filings that the 70,000 dollars (£56,000) and royalties Sorokin is owed from her Netflix deal should be awarded as restitution to the Manhattan banks and hotels she defrauded by providing fake financial records and a forged identity.

Anna Sorokin at New York State Supreme Court
Anna Sorokin at New York State Supreme Court (Richard Drew/AP)

The court filings, first reported by the New York Post, show Sorokin received an initial 30,000 dollars (£24,000) from Netflix that went to her defence lawyer Todd Spodek.

Sorokin passed herself off as a wealthy heiress known as Anna Delvey, convincing banks and celebrities that she had a fortune of 67 million dollars (£53 million) overseas that could cover her jetsetting lifestyle.

After a trial that drew international media attention, she was convicted of grand larceny and theft of services and was sentenced in May to four to 12 years in prison.

She faces deportation to Germany after her release.

Anna Sorokin at the defence table
Anna Sorokin at the defence table (Richard Drew/AP)

Prosecutors said Sorokin “had not a cent to her name when she was taken into custody”, but a judge ordered her to pay nearly 200,000 dollars (£160,000) in restitution after her conviction, including a 100,000 dollar (£80,000) loan she failed to repay to City National Bank.

New York’s so-called Son of Sam law derives from the nickname given to David Berkowitz, a serial killer who shot dead six people and wounded seven others in New York City in the 1970s.

New York was the first state to enact such a law following his capture.

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