Digest of the High Profile Anna Delvey Immigration Case

Anna Delvey Sorokin Immigration Case

This interview is a digest of the high-profile Anna Delvey immigration case. Yakov provides expert commentary on the case and what other people facing deportation from USA could learn from it. 

Read on to know more.

Michael Levitis  00:03

Good day everybody. It’s Michael Levitis. From JurisQ.com, a legal network where we not only answer your legal questions with participating attorneys, but we also digest latest news in the legal arena. And I am bringing it back today. an immigration attorney Yakov Spektor. And the reason why I’m bringing you today, Yakov, is because there’s a big splash on the newspapers. On the front pages on page six of your post about the character on which inventing Ana series of Netflix is based on Anna Sorokina, also known as Anna Delvy. Big news about her this week. She was released from immigration custody. And she is now fighting her deportation case. So I want to digest with you because you are an immigration attorney. What are her chances? What are her hopes? Why is she on an ankle bracelet? Why should spend time in ICE custody? But first, I want to spend just a minute introducing who she is okay, because somebody who’s watching this, they may hear about her case and see how her case may also apply to their case if they’re also fighting their deportation. Okay, so we can learn from the celebrities and apply it to regular Joe Shmo. 

Yakov Spektor  01:38

Sounds good. Yeah. I’d love to hear about her case, actually.

Michael Levitis  01:41

Yep. Okay. So from what we know, based on what’s in the press, and based on Inventing Ana series that we all watched very hard on Netflix, there was this young lady. Originally, she she was known as Anna Sorokina, originally from Russia, then she moved with her parents to Germany. Then she came to America and reinvented herself. She became Anna Delvey. Now, she was arrested. Her Crime Was Being a fake socialite, fake baronessa, she was saying that she is an heiress to his big fortune, from Germany. And based on this fortune that never existed, she should be able to take loans, construction loans, acquisition loans to buy a big commercial space in Manhattan that she would convert into some kind of art gallery, art museum. That was one of the crimes of which she was accused. And then, along with it were other crimes, credit card fraud, that she, under false pretenses made her friends, pay for her lavish vacations, dinners going out and she never repaid them. Based on all this, there were eight counts of various fraud, grand larceny theft that she was convicted on. And she received a very, very harsh sentence, she received a four to 10 year sentence. And as a matter of fact, she was not even allowed to stay out of prison. During her trial, she was placed under arrest, because I guess she was deemed a flight risk. And out of 10 years, they gave her she spent almost four between three and four years in prison in a state prison, which is not pretty. And I think was pretty harsh time for her. In my personal opinion, I think she got too much because she never actually got any of the money that she was accused of taking of trying to take the bank, she never got the loans. So she’s still got some money, but not the main ones that she was accused of. So in my opinion, she got too harsh of a sentence, but that’s a separate story. But because she doesn’t have a legal status in America, she doesn’t have a green card. She’s not a citizen. After she was released, released on good behavior after four years, she spent only a few weeks in freedom. And she was picked up by ICE, by immigration services. And she was placed back in prison at this time back to detention and immigration detention. And she was there awaiting trial to see if she could stay in America get the portrait. And after some time there after a year and a half. So another year and a half in prison in ICE custody. It was finally released on bail on the $10,000 bail and she’s now free. Pending her trial whether or not she would stay in America. So that’s the Justice because this could happen to any I believe anybody who’s biding their case to stay in America, let’s draw some lessons. So first of all, Yakov, is this a regular occurrence that after time in prison on some kind of a charge, you can get picked up by immigration?

Yakov Spektor  05:26

Well, it’s I guess it’s more regular than people think. And, you know, this case, you know, and agility was a fake social light. And, you know, as you said, you know, being a fake socialite is not really a crime. It’s not in the penal code. Okay, you can, I mean, maybe it’s a crime in the eyes, or both, and both real social lights. And Delvey was convicted of larceny. And another count, oh, I think attempted grand grand larceny, grand larceny, just meet me just like regular larceny. But, you know, you’re accused of stealing more than, you know, more and more money, more more, more things. Attempted grand larceny that she was convicted of, you know, obviously, it was something that she wasn’t, she didn’t succeed. You know, but yet, you know, if you try to do something criminal, and you don’t succeed, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you get to go scot free, you get, you know, you get convicted of an attempt. And that’s what happened to her. And, you know, so you might think, and I don’t know, Michael, I am sure that our audience might contain a fair number of real and fake socialites. But for everyone else, you might think, well, you know, how is this going to be relevant to my case, in my situation, it might not be unless you are, indeed, fake socialite. But we all, you know, unfortunately, we all know, or we get into the situations when, you know, some old criminal record might be something that could present a problem in the future, and especially for those of us who do not have a status here, you know, if you try to get a green card, if you tried to get citizenship, a lot of people would find out that even something as small, as you know, a misdemeanor that might not carry you into jail sentence might have been grounds for the government to deny your green card or deny your citizenship.

Michael Levitis  07:42

So as a matter of fact, Yakob, we had a whole session before, on what happens if you have a criminal record, no matter how small a convention, even maybe a misdemeanor can affect your immigration case. So you better be super careful. And stay away from bad crowds, bad places, if you’re waiting for a hearing on your immigration status, right?

Yakov Spektor  08:02

Absolutely. It just, it just makes sense. I mean, forget, you know, forget about becoming a citizen, the government might try to deport you for something like this. Yeah.

Michael Levitis  08:12

And that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do now with Anna. So what do you think? Does she have a chance at the such such a substantial charges of felony after spending four years in prison? Do you think she has a chance of getting a legal status in America?

Yakov Spektor  08:31

So well, the case is still ongoing. There’s not much information, but you know, I could parse it. You know, I’ve been I’ve been doing immigration law for more than 15 years. It’s, you know, I have had my fair share of cases when someone was fighting his or hers permutation of the criminal record. And yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s more, it’s more common than people might think. Yeah. And, you know, they, they might serve their jail sentence or a prison sentence, in case of something more serious, like, and Adobe’s criminal conviction was one, which was a felony, she had to do more than one year in prison that made it a felony, and probably onto the eyes of immigration law. It made it you know, she, she was guilty of something called an aggravated felony. Okay. That’s for, you know, that’s for particular the serious crimes and grand larceny, unfortunately, would qualify. And so you do your you pay your debt to society, you you get released from prison, maybe early like annadelle region. And then to your dismay and chagrin, you find out that you’re not done yet. You you get you get placed in an immigration jail, which is, which is oftentimes not that much different from regular jail actually.

Michael Levitis  10:00

probably much worse right?

Yakov Spektor  10:01

It’s pretty much the same as the federal government. Oftentimes what they would do, they would simply lease space from stage penitentiary. So essentially, you are in jail. Now fighting deportation,

Michael Levitis  10:15

by the way, that sounds horrible. That’s very unfair. She did her time. Right? She, like you said, pay her debt back to society. And then she’s placed back in jail. I know it’s for immigration. But still, they should there should be a mechanism to combine both into one. Well, in my opinion,

Yakov Spektor  10:36

the idea is that she’s going to be getting deported, she wouldn’t be spending a lot of time in jail. But if you’re if you want to fight deportation, then, you know, then the question is, is the government going to release you? While your case is ongoing? And this is where Anna found herself? In that particular predicament, as you said, she spent what 17 months in immigration? Yeah, that means that she, she wasn’t getting a bond, the government was not releasing her because they were deeming her flight risk. And it’s a very interesting case, because the government’s later on changed their mind.

Michael Levitis  11:15

Yeah. How was that? What what do you think happened? Why do you think finally they said, Okay, $10,000 bail bond, and an ankle ankle bracelet, you can go?

Yakov Spektor  11:24

Well, this is a very actually, you could probably you could take the case and teach it to law students. Actually, if I, you know, if this was one of the cases that they would, you know, maybe they would use to illustrate immigration law when I was taking immigration law in school. You know, I would, I would like, I would like it a little better, because immigration law is very dense, very boring, very counterintuitive. This is more sexy. This is more this is more interesting. Yes. You know, yeah, at least at least there is a real life person, you see how you know how these things work out. And, unfortunately, immigration law simply because it’s so counterintuitive, you’ll often end up in a situation when the judge that you get you know, the length of time that you spend in detention, where who gets to hear your bond, your your request for Bond could could matter a lot. One judge may think that you’re a flight risk, let as happened when Anna tried to get banned the first time around. And, you know, second time around, another judge decided that, hey, you know, she’s so famous that, you know, where’s she going to go? 

Michael Levitis  12:37

Okay, so if you were an attorney for somebody in her situation, what would you propose to the judge, to convince him or her letting a client go, pending this final trial?

Yakov Spektor  12:52

Well, our jobs as lawyers is to essentially to put forth our client’s best arguments. So but in Anna’s case, they may have may, you know, my first my first question was, you know, are, is she actually going to be eligible for bond because a lot of these felonies, especially aggravated felonies would make someone ineligible for it. I suspect that’s what happened. In her case, the news, news articles that, you know, I’ve been kind of looking at, they don’t have a lot of information, but a lot of her lawyers say, hey, you know what, she’s not just fighting deportation, she’s appealing her erroneous conviction, which means that what they’re saying, essentially, they’re saying that may be procedurally speaking or maybe, you know, for any other reason, but her original criminal conviction was, was wrong. And then so they’re saying, hey, you know, what, let’s keep and here while we are, we are trying to, to work through that particular pickle. And if, you know, because if that’s indeed the case, you know, it was a great injustice that was done to her multiple years in prison, let’s not aggravate it by kicking her out of the country. Plus, she, you know, it might it may make sense to have her here in case we need to hear from her, you know, and if she’s going to be deported to Germany, it will be just that much harder.

Michael Levitis  14:19

makes perfect sense.

Yakov Spektor  14:21

Who knows if that’s actually the case? Now, if she was not, from Germany, if she was, let’s say, from from Russia, if she was a Russian citizen, well, let’s say from North Korea, then you could you could say, hey, you know what, even though even though she did commit these crimes, okay, it’s not, you know, you cannot just, you know, deport her to Russia or to North Korea, where she might be killed. Okay. You know, she did, yes, she might have stolen large sums of money. But, you know, in this country, we do not punish that well, the death sentence and if you’re going to be deported Due to North Korea, hey, that’s essentially just just sentence we just afford people

Michael Levitis  15:06

killed. So that should be asking for asylum basically.

Yakov Spektor  15:10

Right? She might not even be eligible for asylum because of her criminal conviction. So there’s a lot to unpack there. But she is from Germany. Asylum, you know, forget about asylum from Germany. But, you know, even even her fears of potentially, you know, getting killed in Germany, you know, are really non existent, you know, the state does protect its citizens from, you know, from these kinds of exigencies. So that probably is not something that she, you know, she would, you know, she wouldn’t be successful,

Michael Levitis  15:45

they would have a idea on what grounds she wants to stay here in America.

Yakov Spektor  15:51

Well, so one of her former lawyers, she just mentioned something about asylum. Incidentally, that lawyer was fired. So, you know, I’m not sure because it actually did, you know, didn’t make me raise my eyebrows when they read about asylum, asylum. And, of course, Germany, you know, that it’s been a while, it’s been probably, you know, probably since 1945, since a very successful asylum from Germany. But, you know, it’s, it will be interesting to see how this whole situation plays out. The takeaway, too, for most people, is that, you know, if you’re not a citizen here, okay, don’t you know, you might be punished for something that you do criminally, twice? Okay, because this could have immigration consequences, you know, something, you know, something really small and stupid that you might have done 20 years ago might have might have immigration consequences for you. That would be as far reaching as it was for an Adobe, you might spend months in jail. The end, you know, who knows? You know, if you get a good immigration lawyer, maybe maybe he would be able to pull you out, and maybe even a good immigration lawyer would wouldn’t be able to help you all, it all depends on your situation, you know, and Anna situation is just as individual as everybody else’s. Yeah, it would be super interesting to see what happens. And I’m sure this is the case that smart law professors are going to look at their students,

Michael Levitis  17:22

you know, like you bring up a very good point that today, we’re talking in a vacuum, so obviously not her attorney. So we can only infer so much about her case. But based on what we know from the public information that we have, from newspaper articles, we can gather some information and try to come up with different scenarios for her. And what I want to ask you is in this scenario, where she’s fighting the deportation, she is out now on an ankle bracelet. Can she make money? Bbecause she has a very large I understand social media following she is now a big brand name. 1000s of people have seen Inventing Anna on Netflix and before her before that her story was very famous because it was a very sexy story of this young lady from Russia coming to America, defrauding people living this luxurious lifestyle. So I’m sure she can make a few bucks on it by being now real socialite, by being an influencer on social media and Instagram, Tik Tok. Can she right now. legally, you think, make money in America?

Yakov Spektor  18:40

Well, as is speaking from the immigration perspective, yeah. No, there is no, there is no bar per se, you know, for someone to, you know, to earn a living. Now he’s going to be he’s going to be, you know, kind of employment that would be specifically prohibited, you know, under immigration law. It’s hard to say I, from what I understand she was getting royalties that Netflix paid her for using her likeness in the series. And from what I’ve read, she actually took that money and she reimbursed most of her victims and courts had a criminal court not to Immigration Court had a lot to say about who’s going to be getting reimbursed who’s not going to be getting reimbursed. I think she actually got to keep a portion of that money, which leads me to believe that she, you know, a court to court satisfaction. She did reimburse her victims, and it’s actually a very interesting idea. You know, does you know, does a criminal have a right to the earnings that stemmed from his criminal acts? A there was a large outcry, you know, after serial killers would get paid for their likenesses used in movies, etc, etc, etc.

Michael Levitis  19:58

 Or books that they wrote

Yakov Spektor  20:01

And, you know, essentially a lot of legislatures, a lot of courts stepped in and said that, you know what, you know that money either either has to go to the victims funds, or, you know, just flat, they flat out forbade them from, you know, from from. Right, I think I think you’re right from the criminal. 

Michael Levitis  20:22

That’s why I think she have to give a lion’s share of her Netflix earnings, to reimburse her victims. Social media is a big part of what she will be doing as a famous person. I’m reading in a New York Post that she is prohibited from social media, while on this release from detention. Do you have any idea why would the judge an immigration judge, not allow her to be on social media and Facebook and Instagram? How does that hurt us justice system, or being on Tik Tok?

Yakov Spektor  21:04

especially in immigration? Immigration Court, I’m not quite sure. What was the reasoning behind judges, you know, that particular judges prohibition? You know, why, you know, what, why that particular restriction

Michael Levitis  21:20

for any of your clients? Yeah, no, some very unusual, right?

Yakov Spektor  21:25

The only, the only thing that comes to mind is that, you know, her, you know, her the nature of her criminal acts, they, you know, they had a lot to do with basically her impersonating someone else, you know, essentially, things that we all do to a certain degree on social media, it’s our, it’s our digital persona, as you know, we don’t use it for any purpose, good or evil. And the first time when she was denied bond, I believe the judge actually, you know, wrote about, you know, the, you know, the fact that she, you know, she’ll just go out, there is a high probability that she will just go out and start committing these acts. Again, I suspect, it might have been, maybe maybe, and once again, I could be completely wrong on this, but, but maybe her lawyers put forth that particular, you know, you know, that particular particular restriction to the court, you know, kind of to get you to convince the courts to actually meet you release her on the bottom, because they were kind of swimming upstream here a little bit, you know, there was already one denial. So maybe they said, hey, you know, what, you know, you know, the other judge had these concerns about her, you know, using social media to perpetuate these acts, you know, what we’re going to, you know, we’re going to say

Michael Levitis  22:48

makes sense. Makes sense? Very logical. Okay. Yeah. Let’s say you gotta throw everything except the kitchen sink at the judge to get your client released, metaphorically speaking, of course. Yep, of course. That’s part of what attorneys do is advocating for their clients. Okay. Very good. This was very interesting. And what I love about what we do here, that just in cases, is that we bring law to life, like you said, we’re making it interesting. So you could see how possibly Anna Delvy deportation case could apply to your own case, if you are in the same predicament. Thanks so much for your time. Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. And we’re going to bring back Yakov again, for more FAQs on immigration law, and on any interesting cases that have to do with immigration law, to give us a nice digest, a simple digest in layman’s terms, but what is going on? Thank you so much. Until next time, take care. 

Yakov Spektor  23:54

Take care, Michael.

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