Did Anna Delvey Actually Steal A Plane?

Netflix's limited series "Inventing Anna" tells a partially-fictionalized account of the real-life story of Anna Delvey. According to NBC News, Anna Delvey was the creation of a con artist named Anna Sorokin. In 2018, Sorokin was arrested for masquerading as Delvey and claimed to be a German heiress, using that cover story to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks, hotels, and individual people.

Sorokin — who was born in Russia, but raised in Germany — was convicted in 2019 on ​​one count of attempted grand larceny, three counts of grand larceny, and four counts of theft services. This landed her a cell at Albion Correctional Facility, before her parole in 2021, per NBC News.

"Inventing Anna," which was produced by Shonda Rhimes, begins as Sorokin sits in an ICE detention center awaiting a decision on whether or not she will be deported to Germany. It also has a lot of people asking which aspects of the show are faithful to the real-life events and which aren't, with one aspect particularly raising some eyebrows.

According to South China Morning Post, at a point in the series, reporters tracking the exploits of Anna Delvey are shocked to learn that she had stolen a plane. Now, upon hearing that Sorokin may have stolen a plane, it's easy to picture a daring hijacking a la D.B. Cooper, but while that's not at all how it happened, it's technically true. Only she stole it in the more traditional not-paying-for-a-service-rendered way.

Sorokin really did steal a plane trip

The story as it appears in the show was pretty similar to how it went down in real life. According to a 2019 report by Rolling Stone, the company on the receiving end of this particular Delvey/Sorokin ruse was Blade, a crowd-sourced aviation app that allows for the rich and famous to book private and chartered flights. Sorokin used Blade to book a flight from Morristown, New Jersey to Omaha, Nebraska — which Vanity Fair reported was to attend billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder's meeting — and back again. The trip would cost a total of $35,390. The company's CEO, Rob Wiesenthal, assured the company that Delvey/Sorokin would be good for the bill, after having met her socially. Of course, she wasn't.

Typically, the company requires payment ahead of time, but previous users of the service are sometimes allowed to delay payment. Oddly, Sorokin was allowed that, despite having never used Blade previously, reported Rolling Stone.

"We've let people slide in the past, quite frankly, and they've paid," former Blade CFO Kathleen McCormack testified. "Our CEO had briefly socially run into her, and him knowing her through those circles, we felt she was good for payment so we booked her for the flight."

When McCormack tried to get Sorokin to pay her bill, the con artist used several excuses ranging from the money being en route to not being able to access her email account. Sorokin's defense team would argue that Blade had given her a free flight believing her to be a social media influencer. McCormack, however, denied this argument.