It sounds like the vacation of a lifetime. Three friends will go on an all-inclusive trip to Marrakesh, staying in an exclusive hotel complete with a private butler, a private pool and a videographer documenting their every move.
But for the two of them, the trip will prove to be an expensive mistake after it turns out the person you invited them to is actually a scammer, in a story now being told in a new one. Netflix series.
Anna Delvey, 31, has claimed she is a German heiress with £60m in the bank.
She told friends Kacy Duke and Rachel DeLoache Williams that she was planning to use some of the money to start a private club called the Anna Delvey Foundation and wanted to film a documentary about herself. in Marrakesh to create some buzz around it, invite them to join.
NICOLE RIVELLI / NETFLIX)
But it’s all a lie. In reality, Anna Delvey is Anna Sorokin – a Russian art school dropout who is the penniless daughter of a lorry driver and ends up in debt of £200,000 to many, the bank. shops and businesses in New York.
The Netflix show Inventing Anna stars Julia Garner as Anna, Laverne Cox as Kacy, and Katie Lowes as Rachel.
Kacy, 66, who is also Anna’s personal trainer, said: ‘Anna asked me to join the trip because she wanted to get footage of her training with me.
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“I have never been to Morocco and have always wanted to go. The hotel is amazing, is my favorite place to stay. ”
But the May 2017 vacation turned into a disaster after Anna’s card stopped working and she demanded money from others, promising to return it.
Kacy “didn’t think much of it” at first, as she had problems using her own pass in Morocco, but she became suspicious when she was sick there for four days and wanted to fly home soon.
Kacy said: “I asked Anna to change my return flight to New York but it turned out that only one-way flights were booked.
“I gave my credit card to Anna and Rachel to make my reservation, but it was really weird. I didn’t know Anna made Rachel book a plane ticket and didn’t give her the money back, that’s why we didn’t have any return flights. ”
Later, security at the five-star La Mamounia hotel refused to let Anna and Rachel leave because they couldn’t charge Anna’s account for the stay.
Anna convinces Rachel to put the £50,000 bill on her personal and work credit cards, vowing to pay her back – but beyond £3,800, the rest never materializes, leaving Rachel unable to pay her rent. .
She said seeking reimbursement from Anna “has become a full-time job”.
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“I believe it was divine intervention, as I had to pay at least half the bill,” said Kacy.
A few days after Kacy’s return, Anna calls her in tears, saying she’s gone to Casablanca but is being threatened with arrest for not paying her hotel bill because again, her card isn’t working motion.
Kacy said: “I tried to tell the police not to arrest her. I’ve tried using my credit card, my sister’s and my friends’ credit cards to help, but to no avail – thank god. However, in the end I still paid for her plane ticket home.
AARON EPSTEIN / NETFLIX)
“When I told Rachel, she told me she paid for La Mamounia and I was shocked. We couldn’t get a hold of Anna, and it cleared up from there.”
After arriving in New York in 2013 from Paris to work as an intern for a magazine, Anna quickly rose to the top of the city’s elite, alongside celebrities, art sellers and millionaires. .
Kacy had known Anna for several months before the trip. She trained Dakota Johnson for her role in Fifty Shades of Gray and Anna went to Kacy saying she wanted to recreate the Hollywood star’s slim, toned look.
Anna paid £220 a session for life and personal training with Kacy, often inviting Rachel, a magazine photo editor, to join her.
Anna cited what was described in court as “the Kardashian lifestyle”, living in suites at top New York hotels, where she would tip staff £75 a time.
She’ll pay the bill for meals with her friends at exclusive restaurants in Manhattan, spend £300 a time on eyelash extensions and wear the latest Gucci and Balenciaga clothes.
When asked where the money came from, she replied it was a trust fund from her wealthy family. “She was very smart,” Kacy recalls.
“When she told me about her background, I admired her ambition and how young she was. My maternal instincts were turned off. I want to help her. “
Image of SIPA USA/PA)
However, Kacy did notice some red flags: “I can’t really figure out where her money is coming from.”
Detective Michael McCaffrey, of the New York Police Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force, said: “Anna has worn various fraud hats.
There were many things she did and didn’t specify just one type of cheating. ”
One technique she uses is ‘check-kiting’ – writing multiple checks to move money between her accounts.
This falsified her balance, allowing checks to be cleared that would otherwise bounce for insufficient funds.
Det McCaffrey added: “She walked away with an additional £250,000 doing this.
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Anna’s plans for her club, which she wants to fill with designer installations, restaurants and pop-up shops, have proven her undoing.
In April 2017, the NYPD received a fraud complaint from City National Bank. It claims that Anna has requested an £18 million loan to finance her institute.
It turned her down, so she tried another firm, Fortress Investment Group, which said they would consider funding her but they needed £185,000 to do the check.
Anna borrowed that money from the bank that originally gave it to her, but never paid it back.
A few months later, with most of her £50,000 debt still unpaid and her credit card interest rising, Rachel contacted Det McCaffrey, who worked with Rachel to ‘set up a secret trap’ Anna at a restaurants near her place in LA. .
The police arrived when Anna arrived and she was taken to the Rikers Island prison in New York. Det McCaffrey, 35, says Anna is outstanding.
“The first night she was in the cell, she asked if I could go out and get her some contact lens solution, just like she was in a hotel,” he recalls.
“Before entering the court, Anna stopped and asked if she could go to the bathroom to fix her hair. It’s not ‘what is the seriousness of my allegations?’ Her hair is all she cares about.”
Matteo Prandoni // BFA / REX / Shutterstock)
Anna was found guilty of petty theft in 2019 and jailed for 12 years, but was released last February for good behaviour.
Six weeks later, she was again arrested by USCIS for overstaying her visa, and is currently in custody awaiting possible deportation.
When asked recently whether “crime pays,” she said: “In a way, it did.”
Anna is said to have been paid £230,000 by Netflix and has hired her own filmmaker to launch her own project, Anna Delvey TV.
She claims her real purpose is to build her foundation and give people money back.
Kacy’s feelings are still complicated: “Part of me thinks she really wants to set up her foundation and give people back money if she can. But faking it until you succeed is one thing, using other people and hurting them as part of it is not nice.”
* Inventing Anna is currently streaming on Netflix.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/amazing-true-crime-story-behind-26249742 The Amazing True Crime Story Behind Netflix's New Drama, Inventing Anna