Anna Delvey’s former lawyer dramatically collapsed in court Friday as the fake German heiress continues to sue for court records to aid her deportation battle.
Delvey, 32, real-name Anna Sorokin, is facing off against her former attorney Audrey Thomas in Manhattan Civil Court, who she claims is withholding court records that the convicted fraudster needs to fight her deportation case.
And as proceedings got underway, Thomas broke down in tears, crying out: ‘My heart is hurting me! I need an ambulance!’
After a brief delay while the former attorney was wheeled out of the courtroom on a stretcher, Sorokin emerged victorious as the judge ordered Thomas to hand over the documents.
Thomas was previously disbarred for financial crimes last year, and has threatened to write a tell-all book about her troubled former client.
Audrey Thomas, pictured, collapsed in court Friday as she faced off against her former client Anna Delvey
Thomas previously represented Delvey in court after she was charged with fraud
Delvey, also known as Anna Sorokin, pictured in court Friday, previously served time in prison after conning investors by pretending to be a wealthy German heiress
The courtroom drama came as Delvey is embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with Thomas, who she claims withheld recordings of her deportation hearings as she holds a ‘vendetta’ against her.
The 32-year-old – who was the subject of the Netflix show ‘Inventing Anna’ – claims Thomas violated a July 2022 court order to transfer documents to her new attorney, according to Manhattan Supreme Court filings.
Sorokin’s latest attempt to hold the former lawyer in contempt was disrupted after Thomas collapsed and fell into tears on the courtroom floor.
She cried after claiming to struggle for breath, screaming, ‘I can’t do this, I’m going to fall apart! Help me, please,’ while begging for an ambulance.
The hearing was halted as Thomas was wheeled out of the room.
Despite requests to postpone from Thomas’ legal team, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron continued after a brief pause.
Engoron ultimately ruled in favor of Sorokin, holding Thomas in contempt of court and fining her $1000 a day, starting Wednesday, ‘until she either returns the materials or provides an explanation’ as to their whereabouts.
Delvey’s new lawyer, Duncan Levin, told Dailymail.com following the proceedings: ‘This day was a long time coming. I hope Ms Thomas will be alright, but there comes a time when enough is enough.
‘I’m glad the judge saw it that way too and that Ms Sorokin will get what she is owed or an explanation as to why Ms Thomas is unable to return her property.’
After being dropped by the fraudster as her lawyer last year, Thomas previously sent two batches of the deportation documents in August to Delvey’s new legal team.
However, she allegedly failed to turn over ‘any of the digital audio recordings of (Delvey’s) immigration court hearings,’ according to the lawsuit against her.
The convicted fraudster also alleged that Thomas withheld her personal property, claiming she is concealing the items because she has a ‘vendetta’ against her.
‘Thus, it is clear that (Thomas) is still deliberately withholding items from (Delvey’s) case file,’ the court filing claims.
Thomas, pictured arriving at court Friday, was disbarred for financial crimes last year, and has threatened to write a tell-all book about her troubled former client
The former-lawyer was rushed away from Manhattan Civil Court after collapsing
Friday’s decision comes a month after Thomas was ordered to surrender the documents or face contempt of court and a bill for Delvey’s attorney fees.
But while the two squared off in Manhattan Civil Court on Friday as their legal battle wages on, Thomas was rushed in an ambulance after suddenly fainting.
Delvey’s legal troubles have not stopped her from planning ahead, including shopping around for a reality TV show about her life.
She was previously jailed for swindling banks, hotels and members of New York high society out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, tricking them into believing she was a wealthy heiress.
The Russian-born German, who moved to the US in 2013, was charged with grand larceny after she was snared in her years-long con.
She was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison for her crimes in 2019, but was released early for good behavior in February 2021.
Following her release from prison, she surrendered to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for allegedly overstaying her visa.
She was subsequently held in Orange County, New York, before being released from immigration jail in October 2022.
She has been appealing her deportation for several years while reportedly serving house arrest in a New York City apartment, where she is fitted with an electronic monitoring device.
Before their legal scrap, Thomas served as the fake heiress’ attorney after she was caught fabricating her identity.
However, she was disbarred by the state of New York in November after an investigation revealed that she was running her own scam.
Court filings allege that she stole around $600,000 from an elderly client. She pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the claims.
Anna Sorokin pictured arriving in Manhattan civil court with her new lawyer
Delvey, real name Anna Sorokin, used an alter-ego to convince New York elites that she would inherit a 60-million-euro fortune
Speaking to Tatler following her release, Delvey said she is ‘absolutely not’ a fraudster.
‘I got famous for a financial crime. I was charged with six grand larcenies, and got convicted of four,’ she added.
‘It was the prosecutors’ job to make me look bad, but in the end, they got upset for how famous I got over it.’
Real-name Anna Sorokin, she used the alter-ego Delvey to convince her victims she would inherit a 60-million-euro fortune.
She was previously slapped with a 9pm curfew as she fought deportation in 2021, a punishment she branded ‘ridiculous’.
She explained: ‘It is ridiculous to me, because I’m not a threat to society anymore. The banks are closed anyways. I don’t see what they’re scared of.’
Delvey added that she takes people calling her a ‘sociopath’ as a form of flattery.
‘I actually see it as a compliment because they see Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and Steve Jobs as sociopaths, so if they mean it in that way, I’ll take it,’ she said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
She described her time in prison as an intellectual challenge, where she had to figure out how she could trick guards into getting her items without being able to offer anything in exchange.
The swindler added that she disliked being referred to as a fake heiress, claiming it was not her intention.
‘I never felt like I came through pretending to be this heiress. There are so many rich people in New York, so who gives a f***? No one cares,’ she said.
Sorokin, pictured Friday, is facing off against her former-attorney in court
The convicted fraudster was previously slapped with a 9pm curfew as she fought deportation in 2021, a punishment she branded ‘ridiculous’. She is pictured entering court with her new lawyer
She appeared in Manhattan court Friday as the fraudster continues her fight to remain in the US
Before her arrest, Sorokin convinced City National Bank to loan her $100,000, and forged bank documents to obtain another loan to open the ‘Anna Delvey Foundation’, intended to be a private arts members club.
She was briefly holed up in a luxury hotel following her time behind bars, which she was allegedly able to pay for after striking a deal with Netflix.
Sorokin reportedly raked in $320,000 from the streaming platform, which also went towards repaying her bank loans, fines and legal fees.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Sorokin is shopping around for a reality TV show, which she plans on using to provide a ‘glimpse of the real’ woman behind her famous con.
With the working title ‘Delvey’s Dinner Club,’ the show would see the 32-year-old inviting guests over to her New York City residence while she remains on house arrest.
The show has already signed on the production company Butternut, which is run by former Food Network president Courney White and media mogul Bren Montgomery of Wheelhouse Entertainment.
- Business Law Prof Blog
- International Business Law As A Model Of Neutrality Avoiding Bias Pitfalls In Gun Regulations
- Student Perspective on the Business Law Boot Camp: Adan Abu-Hakmeh | Law
- Solicitors Journal - Eversheds Sutherland duo sweep up at Women in Business Law Awards
- Why a good lawyer never ignores the court of public opinion