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A penniless young woman, who left Russia in 2014 and faked her way to Manhattan as an “heiress,” is now facing up to 15 years in prison.

  1. How did Ms. Sorokin bilk a bank out of $100,000?
  2. What charges does Ms. Sorokin face?
  3. Why did Ms. Sorokin’s lawyer, Todd Spodek, argue that she had not committed a crime?
  4. Which part of this story was the most interesting or remarkable in your opinion?
  5. Were there any red flags that people around her should have noted?


Ransom, J. and E. Palmer (2019). Fake Heiress Who Swindled N.Y.’s Elite Is Found Guilty. The New York Times, April 25 (Retrievable online at