Rachel Deloache Williams on con artist Anna Sorokin: ‘She was very cavalier with her spending’

It was Anna Sorokin’s lavish manners that first attracted Rachel Deloache Williams. When the two met through mutual friends, Sorokin introduced herself as a young German heiress named Anna Delvey, who wanted to start an exclusive art foundation in New York.

“She lived full time in a hotel. She was very cavalier about her spending,” Williams told CBS News’ Jericka Duncan.

But Williams said it wasn’t the expensive hotel rooms and designer outfits that made her become friends with Sorokin.

“Yeah, she sometimes picked up the hotel bill, but that’s not why we were friends,” Williams said. “What interested me was how much she dreamed her, how ambitious she was.”

The two took a trip together in 2017 to Morocco. Millions have seen this journey depicted in Netflix’s fictional miniseries “Inventing Anna.” Williams described the moment things took a dramatic turn after the fancy hotel they were staying at asked them for a credit card.

“These managers came into the villa and told Anna, basically, ‘you can’t leave until there’s a working map on file,'” she said. “Anna keeps making promises about a cable or having to call someone or waiting for calls to be returned and there was just no alternative.”

After filing her own cards, Williams was charged around $62,000. She says Sorokin promised to pay her back, but only received $5,000.

When Williams finally turned herself in to police, she learned that Sorokin had also targeted hotels and banks.

According to psychologist and Stanford University communications professor Jeff Hancock, scammers can very easily get away with lavish spending on someone else’s behalf.

“They don’t have the same emotional landscape, do they? them, it is not,” he said.

“One of the reasons they can be such good liars is that they can convince themselves of a lot of things. And that kind of self-deception has always scared me because it’s like , how can someone know he is lying and believe himself? Hancock added.

In 2019, Sorokin was convicted of robbery and theft of services. Williams’ allegations were part of the criminal complaint against her.

Sorokin was sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison but was released in February 2021. She was taken into custody by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for overstaying her visa.

In March, Sorokin appeared on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast and said she didn’t consider herself a con artist and “never intended to permanently harm anyone.”

Williams ended up writing a book about her experience. It was published by Gallery Books, part of Paramount, owner of CBS News.

“I think it’s important when, you know, to understand how manipulation happens,” Williams said.

She told Duncan she didn’t want an apology from Sorokin.

“I don’t want any commitment when it comes to Anna,” she said.

Sorokin was acquitted of the theft charges from Williams. A lawyer for Sorokin declined CBS News’ request for an interview.

While nefarious schemes have made their way onto TV screens lately, for those who say they’ve been scammed, the wounds run deep.

“If it’s too good to be true, it is,” Hancock said. “These scam artists know what they’re doing. They know how to manipulate people and time pressure is part of that. When something’s wrong, slow down. And if you can’t slow down, something’s wrong. .”

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