Inventing Anna: What happened to the Anna Delvey Foundation and how much was real?

She really did get support from banks, artists and restaurant owners

Inventing Anna tells the story of fake New York heiress Anna Sorokin – who scammed banks, hotels, New York’s elite and even her own friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Anna pretended to be an heiress with a $60million family fortune, in order to try to convince investors and banks to loan her money for her grand business plan, the Anna Delvey Foundation.

Anna came up with an 80-page pitch outlining her huge world domination-style plans for the foundation, which she referred to as ADF. The pitch included a building she had chosen, artists and business owners she wanted involved and exactly how she believed she would make ADF a success.

She planned the foundation to be an exclusive members-only space, focused on art and luxury. It would home restaurants, bars, a bakery, working spaces and a hotel – and this is all true to how it is shown in Inventing Anna on Netflix. Anna Delvey was caught before she managed to make her idea a reality, so in the end nothing came of the Anna Delvey Foundation. Here’s everything you need to know about her plans, what was real in the show, and what’s happened to the building she so desperately wanted since.

Inventing Anna, The real life plans for The Anna Delvey Foundation and what happened

via Netflix

Anna Delvey really was planning the Anna Delvey Foundation as an exclusive club

The idea of the Anna Delvey Foundation, as shown in Inventing Anna, is completely true to what happened in real life. Anna wanted to set up an exclusive members-only club which focussed on art, and was similar to a Soho House. She planned it to have restaurants inside, exclusive lounges, work spaces and hotel rooms. In the New York article, journalist Jessica Pressler (Vivian Kent in the show) said: “Anna was preparing to launch a business, a Soho House–ish type club, she told Neff, focused on art, with locations in L.A., London, Hong Kong, and Dubai.”

Inventing Anna, The real life plans for The Anna Delvey Foundation and what happened

via Netflix

She did have interest from investors and people like the founder of Nobu

The show mentions a lot of people who Anna wanted to get involved in her project, including architect Gabriel Calatrava, hotelier André Balazs, and restauranteur Richie Notar – who is a founder of Nobu. In real life, Anna did speak to all of these people with regards to going into business with her. Anna in the show also wanted exhibitions and installations from high-profile artists such as Urs Fischer and Tracey Emin and says artist Christo agreed to wrap the building – all of these details came exactly from the article about her in real life. However, the Anna Delvey Foundation never took off, so these business deals were never followed through.

In the show, Anna Delvey has a lawyer called Alan Reed, who is helping her to get investment from banks. He is based on a real person in Anna’s life, lawyer Andy Lance who is a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn. We see him ticking the box in a form that says he can confirm Anna has the means to pay back bank loans, which did happen in real life too. Lance really didn’t check Anna had resources to pay. In Pressler’s article it then says “Lance put Anna in touch with several large financial institutions, including Los Angeles–based City National Bank and Fortress Investment Group.”

via Netflix

Anna did make up fake identities for people she said were in charge of her trust fund

In Inventing Anna, we see Anna Delvey telling her lawyer (and countless other people) that “Peter Hennecke” manages her trust fund in Germany and could wire over the money to cover loads and deposits, in order to secure funds for the Anna Delvey Foundation. We see her download a voice distorting app to speak on the phone with people, pretending to be Peter herself.

Inventing Anna, The real life plans for The Anna Delvey Foundation and what happened

via Netflix

In real life, what Anna did to make this lie seem legit was even more. Prosecutors at her trial presented evidence which showed fake email accounts, Photoshopped bank statements and the voice-disguising app use. She went one step further in real life, and made a second fake identity, a woman who she said was a family accountant.

The building Anna wanted for the Anna Delvey Foundation went to something else

Anna’s plans to home ADF at the Church Missions House in New York were completely true. The famous historic building is real, and is six-floors, managed by real estate mogul Aby Rosen. It sits on the corner of Park Avenue and 22nd. Around the time Anna was arrested in 2017, the building was leased to Fotografiska New York – which is the sole tenant owning all floors. The company is a Swedish photographic organisation, that also has a venue in Stockholm.

The building right now is said to host a cafe, wine bar and curated art bookstore on the ground floor, and a full-service, fine dining restaurant on the second. It’s also home to immersive art exhibitions across three higher floors, with the top floor available to rent for events and gatherings.

Inventing Anna is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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• ‘Fictionalised and unappealing’: What the real Anna Delvey has said about Inventing Anna