Fake heiress Anna Sorokin says she chose to fight deportation back to Germany from the US because she is “trying to fix what I’ve done wrong”.
The con-artist, 31, whose exploits inspired the hit Netflix series Inventing Anna, said public perception of her as a “shallow”, wealth-obsessed person was “not the reality”.
It comes days after Sorokin was released from US immigration custody, having been held in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since March 2021.
Her stay with ICE came after spending more than three years behind bars for swindling banks, hotels and friends to bankroll a luxurious lifestyle.
Immigration authorities say Sorokin has overstayed her visa and must be returned to Germany.
Following her release she has returned to New York, where she is under house arrest with no access to social media, while she continues to fight her deportation.
Speaking to the New York Times, she discussed her decision to remain in the US to fight for her immigration status.
“I just did not want it to go down the way ICE wanted it to,” she said, speaking from her apartment in the city.
“Letting them deport me would have been like a sign of capitulation – confirmation of this perception of me as this shallow person who only cares about obscene wealth, and that’s just not the reality.
“I could have left, but I chose not to because I’m trying to fix what I’ve done wrong.
“I have so much history in New York and I felt like if I were in Europe, I’d be running from something.”
Ahead of her release, Sorokin was required to post a 10,000 dollar (£8,900) bond and provide a residential address where she will stay for the duration of her immigration case.
She was convicted in 2019 on multiple counts of larceny and theft.
She was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, credited with more than 500 days of time served while her case was pending and released on good behaviour in February 2021, before being picked up by immigration authorities a few weeks later.
Using the name Anna Delvey, Sorokin manoeuvred her way into elite New York social circles by passing herself off as a socialite with a 67 million dollar (£59 million) fortune overseas, prosecutors said.
She falsely claimed to be the daughter of a diplomat or an oil baron.
Prosecutors said Sorokin falsified records and lied to get banks to lend her money, luxury hotels to let her stay and well-heeled Manhattanites to cover plane tickets and other expenses for her, stealing 275,000 dollars (£245,000) in total.