This Socialite Had A Habit Of Paying Only In Cash, Turns Out It Was More Than Just A Quirk

Published on 05/26/2019
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The New York City socialite crowd got to know Anna Delvey for her lavish lifestyle as well as her penchant for paying exclusively in cash. This princess appeared to have everything one could ever want until her astounding fall from grace. After that moment, nothing would be the same for this young woman and the friends she surrounded herself with.

This Socialite Had A Habit Of Paying Only In Cash, Turns Out It Was More Than Just A Quirk

The Mystery Woman

Do you know the ins and outs of the socialite scene in the Big Apple? If you say yes, you must at least have heard the name Anna Delvey in the past. People might know her, but the odd thing was that they all heard different stories about her past. In fact, it almost seemed like she just popped up in Soho!

The Mystery Woman

The Mystery Woman

Don’t Be Fooled

There were a number of things about Anna Delvey that made people think she came from a rich family. Not only did she look like she had money, but she acted the part as well! She hardly gave a thought before she did whatever she liked. This is actually how she got to fool so many people all this time.

Don’t Be Fooled

The Right Conditions

Anna Delvey did not live anywhere permanently. The lady of the story simply lived in one hotel after another. She also traveled out of the country every now and then on a visa run. The address you will most want to know is 11 Howard Street. The hotel located here is important to the story.

The Right Conditions

The Right Conditions

She Played The Part

Anna Delvey knew the right people in these circles. It was a reason why the hotel did not bother asking her to present a credit card as soon as she arrived. They might have been kind to her in the beginning, but they were the ones who would lead to her eventual fall from grace.

She Played The Part

The Sweet Life

She was always decked out in high-fashion clothing and gave tips worth a hundred dollars. Anna Delvey was, essentially, living the dream. Who would not want to be able to do those things? When she had been staying at 11 Howard, she made quick friends with Neffetari Davis. Neff, as she was also called, was the concierge at the boutique hotel. She was immediately intrigued by the socialite.

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

A Celebrity

Anna wanted to stay at the boutique hotel for one month. Although this might seem like a long time, this was not particularly unusual behavior from the rich and the famous. Each time she came by the concierge, she always had a $100 tip for Neff.

A Celebrity

Another Soho Socialite

There were zero reasons for the concierge to think that Anna Delvey was not a Soho socialite. She was familiar with the way these people behaved, after all. More importantly, she wanted to befriend this guest. As a budding cinematographer, she knew a little networking would not hurt.

Another Soho Socialite

Another Soho Socialite

She Knew It All

Anna came down to the concierge booth often with inquiries about destinations and restaurants. Neff could tell that she did not truly need recommendations as she already knew the best places to go to. Moreover, Anna was acquainted with the owners, waiters, and bartenders! Why did she even bother?

She Knew It All

Looking For A Friend

Neff was no fool and realized Anna Delvey did not truly need to know the answers to these questions. She was merely doing this to befriend Neff. This socialite was looking for a friend among the hotel staff, and that was what she got. These two eventually became close. “You just sit there and listen, because that’s your concierge life,” Neff explained.

Looking For A Friend

Looking For A Friend

After Hours

Neff did not think anything strange of her. But it is interesting to note that she did not ever keep talking to a hotel guest when she was off the clock before. The two friends would later go to clubs together!

After Hours

Exclusively In Cash

It is not hard to see why Anna Delvey became such a valued guest at the 11 Howard hotel. The staff members must have been fond of her $100 tips. “People would fight to take her packages upstairs. Fight, because you knew you were getting $100,” explained Neff. Well, we bet we would do the same thing! Anna Delvey knew she could get her way with money. Luckily, she never ran out of $100 bills. Actually, she never put anything on credit and exclusively paid with those bills! Even though no one knew how she made money, no one thought to ask.

Exclusively In Cash

Exclusively In Cash

A Vacationing Royal

Here is more insider information from Neff about her spending habits: “She gave to everyone. Uber drivers, $100 cash. Meals — listen. You know how you reach for your credit card? She wouldn’t let me.” Anna Delvey also paid $4,500 for a personal trainer/life coach. That is a lot of money to us, but maybe not to her. Considering the way she spent her money, everyone assumed she was made of money.

A Vacationing Royal

A Vacationing Royal

European Heiress

Thanks to her fascinating accent, the others assumed she was a European heiress from a wealthy family back home. It was easy enough to imagine her as a princess living far, far away from the family castle.

European Heiress

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

Anna Delvey did not only become friends with Neff, but she also went out of her way to hold impressive dinner parties. It always happened at Le Coucou, an elite French restaurant. When it comes to the guest list, the names of various athletes, artists, and CEOs were always there. Whoa.

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

Star-Studded Dinner Parties

An Extraverted Person

This story would not have been possible had Anna Delvey not been gifted with the power of persuasion. Aside from knowing people, she was also great at befriending them. If you judge her by her looks, she seemed like a regular person. However, it was her people skills that made her get as far as she did.

An Extraverted Person

An Extraverted Person

A Way With People

During the Paris Fashion Week, Anna Delvey met a man. He said that he got to know her as a polite and sweet person after she introduced herself. It did not take long at all before she hung out and made conversation with his pals.

A Way With People

Right Clothes, Right Time

This was how someone else described her: “She managed to be in all the sort of right places.” Wearing a fancy getup, she once cropped up to a party in Berlin that was held inside a private jet. Despite this appearance, people did not question where she got her money.

Right Clothes, Right Time

Right Clothes, Right Time

Something Unusual

“There are so many trust-fund kids running around,” recounted Saleh, a marketing director who got to know her. “Everyone is your best friend, and you don’t know a thing about anyone.” Unfortunately for these people, Anna Delvey turned out to be someone that they did not expect.

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Something Unusual

Footing The Bill

Anna Delvey met a museum founder and art collector by the name of Michael Xufu Huang when she attended an art show. The two became quick friends, and they even took a trip to Italy to go to the Venice Biennale. During that time, Anna asked him to shoulder the flight and hotel first.

Footing The Bill

Footing The Bill

A Little Weird

Despite this strange request, he obliged since she made a promise to pay him back. Moreover, the expenses had been a small amount to him. For him, it was not that much of a big deal. Later he admitted that asking him to pay was a little weird, but not enough for him to actually think too hard about it.

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A Little Weird

Bye Venice

There was something else that he thought strange that we are already familiar with: her habit of using only cash. He thought it was odd, but this wasn’t a deal breaker for him. Of course, the trip eventually ended, and they headed back from Venice.

Bye Venice

Bye Venice

She Never Paid

And yet, Anna did not pay back what she owed him. Michael, however, knew that this was usual for the super-rich. For people of such standing, these things counted as minor details and did not occupy most of their time. Even he forgot all about it soon enough.

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She Never Paid

Best Birthday Ever Until…

Anna wanted to throw a spectacular birthday party, which is perfectly understandable. To ensure this happens, she had a PR firm arrange the whole affair. She did not forget to send invitations to VIPs and celebrities. Of course, she did not forget to invite Michael as well. The party was a success and ended up becoming one for the books. However, problems arose after the birthday celebration.

Best Birthday Ever Until...

Best Birthday Ever Until…

What Was She Hiding?

Only a few days after this, Michael found a message that asked for her contact information. It turned out that “she didn’t pay her bill”. It was at this moment that he realized something was up.

What Was She Hiding?

Different People, Different Stories

Now, just what was the truth about Anna Delvey? Who was she really and why was she doing this? The people in the circle started taking a closer look at the socialite. The weird thing was that no one agreed on her background.

Different People, Different Stories

Different People, Different Stories

No One Could Agree

One friend of hers was told that her father was a Russian-based diplomat. Supposedly, Anna Delvey came from “family money”. However, there was another friend who thought her father was an oil industry businessman. Which one of these was the truth? Did she even tell anyone her true background?

No One Could Agree

More Theories

Someone else who knew her claimed that Anna Delvey and her family boasted of a German antique business. Was any of these stories true? Well, you should know that the truth about her surprised everyone. The so-called socialite did not let the speculation bother her. It seemed like she believed the saying that all publicity is good publicity. The more people talked about her, the more popular she was. All of these only goes to show just how dedicated she is about achieving the goal she had in mind.

More Theories

More Theories

Her Future Goal

We bet you are eager to hear what she was cooking up the whole time. Apparently, she had her heart set on opening The Anna Delvey Foundation, her very own exclusive art club. If you are not convinced she was taking it seriously, we’ll have you know she even got the help of creative director Marc Kremers!

Her Future Goal

Her Future Goal

A Dream

Anna Delvey actually started to look around for somewhere to place the art club in. Eventually, she came to the decision that the best place for it was at 281 Park Avenue South. Before she got to acquire it, however, she needed to get loans worth millions of dollars. Someone ended up doing it for her.

A Dream

Promises She Could Not Keep

The person who was trying to help her obtain the location even wrote an email that spoke of how the loan was important since “her personal assets, which are quite substantial, are located outside the US, some of them in a trust with UBS outside the US.” Anna Delvey made everyone believe that she could pay back all the money she owed them. Part of the deal involved refraining from embarrassing the firm as well. When it came down to it, our mystery woman failed to deliver on numerous promises she made.

Promises She Could Not Keep

Promises She Could Not Keep

A Little Help From Her Friends

Anna Delvey worked hard when others grew suspicious of the state of her finances. She started doing fundraising and held more lavish dinners. She befriended other wealthy people, which included Martin Shrekli, the person who came under fire after he raised the price tag of an important treatment from $13 to an unreasonable $750. He was later convicted on securities fraud and now serves his sentence.

A Little Help From Her Friends

A Little Help From Her Friends

Computer Geek

According to him, this was what he thought of our mystery lady: “Anna did seem to be a popular ‘woman about town’ who knew everyone. Even though I was nationally known, I felt like a computer geek next to her.” Anna actually learned a thing or two about revenge from this pharma bigshot.

Screenshot 22

Computer Geek

The Beginning Of The End

Everyone could see just how serious Anna was about starting the foundation. The following was what Neff Davis remembered hearing about it at the hotel: “She was always on the phone with lawyers. They were always toning her down. Like, ‘Anna, you’re trying to make something that’s worth this much be worth that much, and that’s just not how it works.’”

The Beginning Of The End

The Beginning Of The End

It All Came Crashing Down

Anna invited Neff to go and grab dinner one night. After finishing their meal, it was time to handle the bill. However, the socialite was having some problems. All twelve of the credit cards she took out had been declined. It was the beginning of the end for Anna Delvey.

It All Came Crashing Down

Time To Pay The Bill

It would be kind of us to give her the benefit of the doubt. However, she had deeper problems than merely cash flow issues. After all, she still had to pay for her stay at the hotel. In fact, they had no credit card information for her!

Time To Pay The Bill

Time To Pay The Bill

An Important Guest

She was treated as an important guest the entire time, primarily because they knew her to be the socialite trying to buy real estate property from the owner of the hotel himself. Although they were fine with the wire transfer she told them about, they had not gotten any payment a month and a half after she started staying in the room.

Screenshot 71

An Important Guest

Facing The Music

The manager of the hotel approached Neff and asked her to handle this delicate issue. After all, she was good friends with Anna and the bill was at about $30,000 by then. Neff still thought Anna was fine in the financial sense of the word and brought up the issue with her.

Facing The Music

Facing The Music

She Continued To Lie

Anna told her that the wire transfer was about to come in soon. She held her ground and kept mum about how bad her current situation was. Everything was on the verge of falling apart for her, but something surprising happened soon enough.

Screenshot 16

She Continued To Lie

Enough With The Games

Who would have thought that a wire transfer would actually come through? The hotel got $30,000 to clear her bill. Did this mean Anna Delvey was doing fine after all? Sorry for the spoiler, but it did not. She did not know it, but she was in for a rude awakening.

Enough With The Games

Enough With The Games

Rude Awakening

Although this was good news for them, they knew it was time to stop being so lenient on this guest. After all, the longer she stayed, the more the bill kept going up. They needed her working credit card number and issued an ultimatum. If she could not present one, they would lock her out of the room!

Rude Awakening

Failure To Do So

If Anna Delvey thought they were joking, she was clearly wrong and found out about it soon enough. They did as they promised and changed the door code for her room! Anna was mad she was getting the commoner treatment and put into action what she got from Martin Shkreli.

Failure To Do So

Failure To Do So

Threatened

She warned them she was buying web domains with their names, so they would have no choice but to buy them off her when they wanted to use them. Somehow, she was still able to go on a trip to Morocco together with her personal trainer and Rachel Williams, a videographer.

Screenshot 101

Threatened

Troubles in Morocco

Various problems plagued her Morocco vacation. The first one was the fact that her personal trainer contracted food poisoning and ended up going back to the States sooner than expected. Several days later, a hysterical Anna Delvey called her personal trainer to ask for help. She explained how her credit card declined, which was why the hotel management planned to get the police in there. With their client in danger of getting arrested, the personal trainer provided her credit card information. The first card failed to go through, and so did the second one. However, the hotel gave up and admitted there was a possibility that the problem was on their side.

Troubles in Morocco

Troubles in Morocco

Police Involvement

She explained how her credit card declined, which was why the hotel management planned to get the police in there. With their client in danger of getting arrested, the personal trainer provided her credit card information. The first card failed to go through, and so did the second one. However, the hotel gave up and admitted there was a possibility that the problem was on their side.

Screenshot 31

Police Involvement

Kicked Out Again And Again

The trip eventually had to end, and Anna Delvey returned to the States. She stayed at a different hotel this time, but the same problem cropped up once more. She could not pay off the $11,518 she owed the establishment, so they sent her out and refused to return her belongings. In a nutshell, she was now homeless.

Kicked Out Again And Again

Kicked Out Again And Again

Homeless

At this point in the story, Anna Delvey had nowhere to call home. Once more, she went to another hotel and did the same thing as what she had done previously. When she got kicked out again, she tried to stay at her personal trainer’s place. Things weren’t looking good for her, and she started to get desperate.

Homeless

Threats

When she called, the trainer expressed hesitation to let her stay. However, things changed when she threatened to commit suicide. Although the trainer had a date that night, Anna was told to come over. There was no way that her trainer was not going to cancel her date if it meant saving someone from seriously hurting themselves.

Screenshot 14

Threats

Scamming A Friend

You might have noticed that we have yet to tell you how the Morocco problem was resolved. It turns out that Rachel Williams saved her by footing her accommodation. When our mystery lady was being threatened with an arrest, her companion took out her American Express card and took on the $62,000 bill.

Scamming A Friend

Scamming A Friend

The Last Straw

Not many people make that much money in a year and neither did she. When the trainer found out about it, it was the final straw for her. That was when they realized they had no idea who Anna Delvey was. It became apparent to her that Anna Delvey was looking more and more like a con artist.

Screenshot 121

The Last Straw

Not Welcome Here

Soon after this, the trainer asked Anna Delvey to leave the place. The self-proclaimed German socialite failed to bring her computer on the way out, possibly to get another stay there when she came back to get out. However, the trainer was a smart cookie who could tell what was up.

Not Welcome Here

Not Welcome Here

Waited In The Lobby

Her trainer knew she needed to change the situation, that was the reason the laptop was waiting for her not at the house but at the front desk. Still, Anna refused to leave without talking to the trainer. She did not get the green light to come up, however. What did the future have in store for her now?

Screenshot 91

Waited In The Lobby

An Intervention Of Sorts

Anna Delvey could no longer go running to hotels like she used to. Many have caught on to the fact that she could not pay, after all. She was so desperate for a place to stay that she asked her lawyer to stay at his home. He said no since his family was home. He ended up contacting her personal trainer, however. No one was surprised when his proposal to send Anna there was turned down. Something important did come out of the conversation. The two of them ended up agreeing to hold an intervention for their mutual acquaintance!

An Intervention Of Sorts

An Intervention Of Sorts

Payback Time

The intervention was harsh, primarily because it was full of the friends and colleagues that she owed money. We can imagine we would not be especially kind to a swindler as well. She cried at one point and swore to clear up the mess when she signed the lease. Unfortunately for her, that was how she found out that the location already went to someone else! She could not believe she wanted so badly for the Anna Delvey Foundation was no longer available. She even went so far as to call it “fake news”!

Payback Time

Payback Time

A Talented Con-Artist

By that point in time, there were already articles coming out that referred to her as a “wannabe socialite”. That was not something she liked to hear about herself, and no wonder! She had tears in her eyes when she told them that these were nothing but lies. Anna still refused to tell them the truth and insisted that she did come from a wealthy family. She continued by explaining that she only go to this state after making the wrong decisions.

A Talented Con-Artist

A Talented Con-Artist

Not Convinced

Despite what Anna had to say, Rachel was not convinced. That is why she decided to do something about it. She got in touch with the New York District Attorney’s Office and explained, “I think this woman is a con-artist.” After sending an article about Anna, the office replied, “we think you’re right.”

Not Convinced

Different State, Same Girl

It did not take a long time before Anna Delvey got an arrest order because of the hotel bills. This was the headline for a story about her: “WANNABE SOCIALITE BUSTED FOR SKIPPING OUT ON PRICEY HOTEL BILLS.” She found herself a lawyer and paid for bail.

Different State, Same Girl

Different State, Same Girl

Back To NY

After all that happened, it almost felt like it was back to normal for the young woman. She even found the funds to go visit California! Unfortunately, she got arrested in Malibu and had to go back to NY. This was because Anna had “to face six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, in addition to theft of services.”

Screenshot 17

Back To NY

The Truth Comes Out

Anna Delvey was taken to Rikers Island jail and refused the option to bail. She is currently waiting for her trial and could end up getting 15 years in prison. At long last, the truth was out. Not only was she no German heiress, but her real name was actually Anna Sorkin! Born in 1991 in Russia, she and her family later relocated to Germany in 2007. Can you believe she actually hailed from a working-class background? If you ask her family about her trust fund, they will tell you they had not heard of such a thing before. You can easily tell it did not exist.

The Truth Comes Out

The Truth Comes Out

An Offer And Counter-Offer

Anna had zero problems trying to sweet talk herself into a good deal even when it came to paying for her crimes. After all, this was how she managed to get herself into the life she had been living. She proposed a plea deal that only came with one to three years of imprisonment.

An Offer And Counter-Offer

An Offer And Counter-Offer

A Big No

This was rejected by the judge presiding over the case, however. She was offered a counter deal that came with three to nine years of jail time instead. She turned this down and decided to go to trial. Did she make the right choice?

Screenshot 81

A Big No

No Remorse For Her Actions

The presiding judge of the case was Justice Diane Kiesel. According to her, Anna displayed “no remorse” for what she did. According to her, it felt necessary to turn down the plea offer as it would only have been a “slap on the wrist”. As you can see, Anna was in terrible luck as the judges were out for blood. In our opinion, it was only right that they sought justice. In the end, Anna could be looking at 15 years in prison for her past behavior.

No Remorse For Her Actions

No Remorse For Her Actions

A Netflix Adaptation

Anna currently awaits trial, but did you know that Netflix is currently working on a series about her life? A presiding judge in her case even said Anna seemed to be more interested in the casting than in showing any remorse whatsoever. “This place is not that bad at all actually,” she went on to describe Rikers Island, “People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” Even her lawyer has said that his client seemed to have no problems over there in prison. Imagine that!

A Netflix Adaptation

A Netflix Adaptation


“Not That Bad”

In an attempt to describe where she was, Anna said, “This place is not that bad at all actually. People seem to think it’s horrible, but I see it as like, this sociological experiment.” She elaborated that she enjoys watching the other people there. She went on, “This one girl, she’s been stealing other people’s identities. I didn’t realize it was so easy.”

A Netflix Adaptation

“Not That Bad”

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

Her lawyer actually described how his client was doing like this: “She is like a unicorn in there.” It turned out that she made a number of friends in prison. According to her, there was no one more fascinating than the murderers over there. We think it is reasonable that people are worried that she was having a blast there because she was learning about other criminal acts while there.

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

Just Like A Sociological Experiment

Her Dream Location

We are sure you could already tell that she did not succeed in her dream of starting the Anna Delvey Foundation. Among other things, the real estate property at 281 Park Avenue South went to a different organization. Fotografiska, a Swedish photography agency, got the lease for it instead. She must have been disappointed to hear this, yet she still hopes to open the “arts-focused members club.” Although she has conceded that she could have done things differently, she said it “doesn’t diminish the hundred things” that she “did right”. Anyway, how could she even have gotten away with everything she did for so long?

Her Dream Location

Her Dream Location

How To Get Away With Fraud

According to the experts dealing with the case, Anna was able to con $275,000 out of banks, people, and hotels. She was able to obtain loans from banks by using falsified documents! The documents also revealed that she managed to get millions of dollars from European banks. She took out credits and floated bad checks that she did not have the means to pay back. Although was likely thinking that the success of her would-be business venture would help her resolve this, it was never going to happen now.

How To Get Away With Fraud

How To Get Away With Fraud

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

To be fair, we do admire that she was able to accomplish these things. Not a lot of people have the guts and smarts to achieve a celebrity’s lifestyle without working hard for it. Despite everything that she accomplished, however, it was only a matter of time before she got caught.

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

Brilliant But Doomed To Fail

She’ll Never Be A Socialite

Well, things would not have gotten so out of hand if she was able to launch her foundation and made money before everything came crashing down. We bet that she could have become a true socialite if only this happened instead.

Screenshot 131

She’ll Never Be A Socialite

Dropping Her A Line

Although she was eventually sent to Rikers Island, her Instagram account remains active somehow. We doubt that you can use your social media accounts in prison, and yet the posts are still very fascinating. She clearly enjoys all the fame and attention she now has. She even encourages us to send her letters while she is behind bars. Feel free to do so if you like, but it might not be such a good idea to drop by there. After all, we now know what she is capable of doing! At any rate, don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.

Dropping Her A Line

Dropping Her A Line

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