Anna Sorokin—Fick, Ethics Corrupter, And The New York Times Thinks She’s A Victim

A New York jury this month found Anna Sarokin guilty of grand larceny in the second and third degrees and other charges that  netted her a sentence of 4-12 years in prison. In previous years before being caught, she posed as “Anna Delvey,”  a fictional German heiress with a trust fund, and parlayed her scam into a luxury life-style  of long stays in boutique hotels, a closet full of  designer clothes, and late-night parting  with Manhattan’s glitterati.

 Sorokin, 28, was really an attractive  Russian immigrant with brass. She ducked bills, conned the trusting, , and once tricked  a bank employee into giving her $100,000 she never intended to pay back. She couldn’t have done any of this for so long or as successfully if she weren’t young and comely, and also a stone-cold sociopath. I’d guess her story will soon be made into  at least a Lifetime cable movie, if not a big budget vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence.

Anna is also a fick, that rare species chronicled on Ethics Alarms that openly revels in unethical wickedness. In two interviews with the New York Times, she made it clear that she’s a shameless predator, telling the paper yesterday after her sentencing,

“The thing is, I’m not sorry. I’d be lying to you and to everyone else and to myself if I said I was sorry for anything. I regret the way I went about certain things.”

She’s still playing her con.  Anna says she always intended to pay back the  hotels, a private jet company and the banks she said,  which she cheated  out of more than $200,000. She just missed  bilking  a hedge fund into giving her a $25 million loan.

Well, yes, if you want to get technical about it,  she had falsified some bank records, but only because she was in America and has big dreams. Don’t all Americans? She wanted to start a $40 million private club, and potential investors pushed her to open it before they  put up their own money. If you think about it, it all was really their fault, not poor Anna’s.

Sorokin said was always fearful that she was vulnerable to men who would “cheer me on” and then seize control of her vision for the club, which she called the Anna Delvey Foundation.  “My motive was never money,” she said. “I was power hungry.”

Oh! Well that’s all right, then!

If her friends thought she had millions of dollars, it was just a misunderstanding. She said she never told anyone she had that kind of money. If they just jumped to conclusions—well, how is that her fault?

At least she has some self-awareness, telling the times, but unapologetically,  “I’m not a good person.”

Yet the Times published a long essay sympathetic to Anna Sorokin, a head-exploding piece (for me, so be careful if you read it) titled in the print version—I warned you—“Women Take The Cosmic Fall For Male Greed.” It is a solid contender for the most unethical feature of the year, with rationalization-stuffed statements like these:

  • “Real justice,” in this instance, is the prospect of more than 15 years in prison for defrauding wealthy acquaintances and financial institutions of $200,000, the sum of which would barely allow you to buy a studio apartment in Queens. “She stole from banks,” one of the prosecutors argued during the trial as if to suggest she had taken oatmeal from the mouth of a baby. “She tried to steal from a hedge fund.”Setting aside the dubious rhetorical gambit of soliciting sympathy for banks and hedge funds, Ms. Sorokin was clearly going to take a fall even if so many other white-collar villains still had their freedom.”

(I confess: after reading that idiotic paragraph a week ago, I stopped and filed the article to return to when my cranium had healed.)

  • “Here is where we might recall that only one financial executive in the country, Kareem Serageldin, was ever sent to prison in conjunction with the collapses of moral judgment that caused the undoing of the global economy in 2008. Accused of concealing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses of mortgage-backed securities, to inflate his bonus at Credit Suisse, he also faced real justice. He was sentenced to 30 months.”

All of which has nothing to do with Sarokin, or gender. Sarageldin made a plea deal, and got one because there was not a clear route to convicting him under existing laws. Sarokin’s crime, in contrast, was as old as the hills, and she embraced it with gusto.

  • Increasingly, it seems, the law has provided an able hand to a culture that takes perverse, outsize pleasure in spectacles of female desperation. Like many young women, Ms. Sorokin had an insatiable desire to be something that she wasn’t: in her case, someone other than the daughter of a Russian HVAC salesman. She had come to New York without the pedigree or capital that buoys you in a city poisonously obsessed with status. New York is a transactional place, and Ms. Sorokin had nothing to trade, so she made herself into a rich, clubby, entrepreneurial German and lied and cheated a system already allocating so many unfair advantages….”

If you are keeping count, just these three paragraphs employ all or whiffs of these rationalizations from the Ethics Alarms list, with more to come:

1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it”
2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”
2 A. Sicilian Ethics, or “They had it coming”
6. The Biblical Rationalizations
“Judge not, lest ye not be judged,” and “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
13A The Road To Hell, or “I meant well” (“I didn’t mean any harm!”)
19A The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice.”
22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
23 A. Woody’s Excuse: “The heart wants what the heart wants”
38. The Miscreant’s Mulligan or “Give him/her/them/me a break!”
48. Ethics Jiu Jitsu, or “Haters Gonna Hate!”
55. The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!”
63. Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is”
68. The Volunteer’s Dodge, Or “You Don’t Pay Me Enough To Be Ethical!“

The hopelessly muddled ethics of the writer, regular Times columnist Ginia Bellafante is independently valuable as a throbbing example of how woke sensibilities distort and rot basic concepts of justice and the rule of law. She is, in fact, more of an ethics corrupter than the smug sociopath heading to jail. Bellafante is telling Times readers that a predator is really a victim, because of her gender.

I wonder how many people believe her?


Source: New York Times

25 thoughts on “Anna Sorokin—Fick, Ethics Corrupter, And The New York Times Thinks She’s A Victim

  1. This is right up there with the moronic sexual harassment credo: if a women says it happened in a certain way, she is believed. I am a women, and believe firmly that women can be as unethical or criminal as any man. Trying to give her a pass only because she’s a woman is insulting to every woman who can think.

    • Thank you, E2. I can’t count the instances I’ve seen over the years of women explaining or excusing horrible, up to and including criminal behavior in other women. ‘We don’t know what drove her to do it’, ‘You have no idea what she’s going through’, and I’ve never understood it. Women are either equal or they’re not, you can’t decide to be equal or helpless at the flick of a switch, whenever it benefits you. It’s staggering, shameful dishonesty.

    • Yeah, I’ve met more female users than male over the years. Too many wanted a money tree or sugar daddy and left rubble in their wakes. Males become problems in other ways, but women are not automatically victims, I hold the reporter more responsible for giving that type the idea and the free passes. People like the reporter forget that scammers cost ALL of us in insurance and FDIC guarantees. TANSTAAFL.

        • Actually, that is one of the few of his I didn’t read, but that phrase is scattered throughout te juveniles to his later Future History setting, esp Lazerus. Number of the Beast may be why I like rotating first person as a writer… Heinlein is very recommended for anyone with Libertarian or reasonable conservative takes on human nature. (the Starship Troopers movie lost all the meaningful meat to the story)

          • In the middle of re-reading with great pleasure Heinlein’s “Methuselah’s Children” now (last seen in ’58 and all but forgotten). Of course, it always resonated with social and cultural contexts but now I have to add politics to the mix? *sigh”

            Re Sorokin, I think the judge, in addition to the sentence decided on, should award her one more year in prison for each person who has lost his or her job over the years: teller, hotel clerk, caterer, employees-etc., and their managers.

  2. So, isn’t she using The Robin Hood Defense? After all, she is stealing from the rich (banks, socialites, and hedge funds) and giving to the poor (in this case, herself).


    • Except for when she played the role of wealthy benefactor to a friend of hers of modest means, purporting to treat her to a luxury vacation in Morocco, before absconding and sticking her with the bill.

      • John’s right. The Times article thinks she’s fine and dandy because she’s simply a re-distributionist and therefore, a Democrat! Of course she’s okay. She’s just like Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama. She’s all about free stuff for young people. So what if she’s re-distributing the money of the righ and banks to herself, it’s a start at least. You go girl. And isn’t it ironic she’s a Russian. Russians are a largest threat to our democracy, unless they’re just grifters, then they are adorable. Go figure. Moose and squirrel must die.

  3. Curious that the author didn’t mention the Jeffrey Weinstein aspect, in which Vance was in up to his eyeballs.

    Sorokin is clearly guilty. And there are enough additional unethical players here to be… well this isn’t a big enough deal to be an Ethics Train Wreck, but possibly an Ethics Clown Car.

    I really should trademark that phrase. Whaddya say, Jack?

    • Is Jeffrey Wenstein some kind of mutant cross between Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein? If you meant Harvey, he was mentioned:

      “Nor did Mr. Vance call for arrest or prosecution of Harvey Weinstein in 2015 when he first had the chance. At the time, a police report had a young model claiming that the producer had groped her in his office. Mr. Vance moved on.”

      • Nice catch. Meant Jeffrey Epstein. And she didn’t mention him. THAT was an Ethics Train Wreck. THIS, from my perspective, is a Clown Car. The story is comparatively unimportant, unless it’s news to people that pretty/handsome people with foreign accents and a good line can be grifters.

  4. I really want to know what goes through the minds of people like Ms. Bellafante when they wrote drivel like this. I have to imagine someone who is working for the NYT is college educated, worked her way up to her position, and has had to take look at an argument or two before getting to this point. Instead of reading a well thought out piece, I get something I think 14-year-old me might have turned in for an A (not that 14-year-old me ever got As). But that might be the problem.

    It is impossible to say everything that is wrong with the current school system, but in my opinion, groupthink and lack of ideological diversity have destroyed critical thought. I will admit if I am wrong, but I bet Ms. Bellafante is a liberal. The fact that she writes for the NTY and the tone of this piece makes it the most likely explanation (at least to me). I bet she wrote this way all through college and high school never to be challenged on her logic or assumptions. After all, if she is liberal, she is more likely to be supported by those institutions. Which is quite sad. She could be a much better writer. Not one that is conservative, because it doesn’t matter if you are conservative or liberal. A good writer considers the evidence and the facts and Ms. Bellafante’s writing screams emotion and confirmation bias.

    However, I’m not sure we can blame her for not knowing any better, because she certainly isn’t alone. The lack of critical thought or being challenged as made us comfortable with our positions. Where are the educators that care about it over dogma? But equally as important, where are we to challenge ourselves? Even if the teachers gave us the correct tools, it is still our responsibility to use them.

    But there are those teachers out there. I went to a Christian college. In my freshman year, I took a class on apologetics. Sometime after I turned in my first paper, my teacher gave it back to me. On it, was a D and a note to see him during office hours. During that time, everything ran through my mind. I was at best a C student in high school. Perhaps this was him telling me to reconsider college. When I met him, he asked me if I knew what a fallacy was (it was still pretty early, we hadn’t covered them yet). He directed me to the section in the book which covered fallacies and then told me to go and learn as many as I could. Learn what they do and how to avoid them. So I did. My next paper and every one since then for that class was an A. I had learned (or started to learn) to apply critical thinking.

    So, it’s thanks to Dr. Terry I can tell you that Ms. Bellafante used the following fallacies (and maybe more) strawman, slippery slope, special pleading, black-or-white, false cause, appeal to emotion, and anecdotal (there are a few more, but I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt on those). Despite the many fallacies she uses, there is one that I believe is almost unforgivable, because it is the most damning: the false equivalency.

    Why this one you ask? Out of all the fallacies, it can be the most damaging because people are not critical thinkers. They see vague or few similarities between the two subjects and believe they can be compared or related. “Oh look, this rich guy got a small punishment for this thing, while this girl got a large punishment for this thing.” Mysogny everywhere! I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Bellafante, also writes on the wage gap.

    Like our host, I am frustrated with people who have long given up on critical thinking. This past week, I had to explain why it wasn’t hypocritical to change your mind, that vasectomies and abortions are not the same things, the government is not a private company, and hate speech is not the same as crying fire in a theatre. But I keep doing it for the same reason I suspect our host keeps doing it: I want people to be better.

    If I could give Ms. Bellfante some advice, I would tell her the following statements.

    1. Learn apologetics, you won’t regret it.
    2. Similarities do not mean the same or equal. A diamond and a geode are both rocks, but I bet you would rather have the former.
    3. Assume you could be wrong. It makes you less prone to bias and able to challenge your own assumptions.
    4. Find a friend that challenges you ideologically. I say, friend because you are less likely to dismiss a friend.

  5. The article refers to NYC’s “poisonously obsessed with status” culture, but that really misses the point. Having followed the coverage of the case, the problem isn’t really so much a culture obsessed with status as it is a culture dangerously acculturated to nonsense. Expensive and grandiose lifestyle, but no job? Nobody blinks. No visible source of income? Nobody says anything. Trying to get huge loans, skipping out on your bills? Talking big about wildly implausible business plans? Par for the course. This is the culture that raised Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival fame.

  6. How is this case different from the Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos case? I would suggest it is not much different. Anna Sarokin’s big problem was that she didn’t publicize her $40 million private club and get people like Gina Bellafonte to hype it. Elizabeth Holmes didn’t fake her name, but did fake her voice. Everything else said about her was just hype without substance.

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