Grifters. The term seems to belong in the past. A word used to describe men in zoot suits and fedoras. Three-card monte guys hustling on turned-over cardboard boxes in front of Penn Station or the guy in the parking lot trying to sell you a “used” laptop for cheap. That was then.
This is now. Why waste time short-changing someone for a $20 when you can promise them a Deutsche Bank wire transfer instead? Why spare change someone when you can just say you’re on the cusp of pulling together a round of early investors for a new project? In a day and age where everyone is hustling, the line between hustling and ripping people off is sometimes fuzzy. Especially when you delude yourself into believing your own lies, then the distinction is moot.
In this city, where enormous amounts of invisible money trade hands every day, where glass towers are built on paperwork promises, why not? If Aby Rosen, the son of Holocaust survivors, could come to New York and fill skyscrapers full of art, if the Kardashians could build a billion-dollar empire out of literally nothing, if a movie star like Dakota Johnson could sculpt her ass so that it becomes the anchor of a major franchise, why couldn’t Anna Delvey? . . . She saw something others didn’t. Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else. And the thing was: It was so easy.
“Money, like, there’s an unlimited amount of capital in the world, you know?” Anna said to me at one point. “But there’s limited amounts of people who are talented.
Read this fantastic tale. Anna Sorokin is just another version of Elizabeth Holmes, a reflection of our times.