Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fake heiress Anna Delvey’s former lawyer disbarred over alleged financial crimes

By Olivia Land

A former lawyer for scammer Anna Delvey was disbarred for her own alleged financial crimes this month, leading the fake heiress to mock her with a sketch illustrating their troubled relationship.    

Audrey A. Thomas, of Queens, was disbarred on Nov. 9, court documents show. The results of a disciplinary hearing published Tuesday allege that she misappropriated $630,000 in escrow funds from Rhea Murray, an elderly client who hired Thomas to oversee the sale of her Brooklyn apartment in 2013.

Thomas, who is also the author of the book “Ego Has No Place in the Law,” claimed that she had Murray’s permission to take the money, which she reportedly used to “promote [herself] as an author and radio show host.”

Murray’s daughters confronted Thomas about the missing cash in 2016, at which point the lawyer promised to repay the money over several months. Disciplinary proceedings against Thomas began in 2018, after she defaulted on the payment plan.

Fake heiress Anna Delvey alongside former lawyer Audrey A. Thomas in an undated photo.
Fake heiress Anna Delvey alongside former lawyer Audrey A. Thomas in an undated photo.
Twitter/Audrey Thomas
Audrey A. Thomas was disbarred this month.
Audrey A. Thomas was disbarred this month.
Twitter/Audrey Thomas

The Queens District Attorney’s Office subsequently took Thomas into custody in July 2019 on second-degree larceny charges, qns.com reported. She pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

In a text message statement to The Post on Thursday morning, Thomas denied the allegations against her.

“I did not misappropriate anyone’s funds,” she wrote. “The Appellate Division got their facts wrong.” When pressed on what happened to Murray’s funds, Thomas retorted, “Call her and ask her! Or call her daughters and ask them.”

Delvey pictured near her apartment in Oct. 2022.
Delvey near her apartment in October 2022.
Getty Images

Amid her own legal woes, Thomas was reportedly hired by Delvey in March 2021, when the German native was taken into ICE custody shortly after being released from Rikers Island. The would-be socialite — whose real name is Anna Sorokin — was famously convicted in 2019 of scamming New York businesses, banks and upper-crust individuals as part of her fake heiress act. 

Delvey fired Thomas in April this year, citing a lack of progress in her criminal and immigration cases due to Thomas’ lax work habits.

“I do not work the month of April for it is my birth month,” Thomas explained in her formal response to Sorokin’s new lawyers. “Anna is fully aware of this.”

Delvey's mock book cover aimed at Thomas' disbarment.
Delvey’s mock book cover aimed at Thomas’ disbarment.

In a statement to Insider after her firing, Thomas referred to her former client as an “ungrateful b—h.”

Delvey subsequently sued Thomas in September, claiming she was withholding recordings of her deportation hearings and some of her personal effects.

Speaking to Insider this week from house arrest — where she remains since being released from ICE detention in October — Delvey says she is glad Thomas can no longer represent other clients.

“I’m happy that the real story is being told and shedding light on my issues,” she told the outlet. “I’m mostly comforted that she cannot do damage to anyone else’s case and life.”

Delvey, who is currently earning thousands of dollars hawking her prison artwork, also included a cheeky drawing of a mock book cover titled “How to Get Disbarred in 10 Days.” In addition to “ungrateful b—h,” the pencil sketch pays homage to Thomas’ “birth month” demand.

The hand-drawn details are set against what appear to be collaged elements from alleged exchanges between Thomas and Sorokin. “You are incorrigible and for now the Anna Delvey show is not my favorite program,” one text says. It is unclear if Thomas actually wrote these words or if Delvey made them up.

Thomas shared her own mock book cover with The Post on Thursday.
Thomas shared her own mock book cover with The Post on Thursday.
Audrey A. Thomas

In the image, Delvey included Thomas’ byline with her legal credentials crossed out.

Thomas, however, appeared nonplussed by her former client’s taunts, and called out both Delvey and one of the Insider authors, Jacob Shamsian, alongside an image of the mock cover on Twitter early Thursday.

“Jacob Samshian [sic] and Anna Sorokin are having a great time serving as Penninah. I guess I must be Hannah,” Thomas wrote, referring to a story in the Old Testament Book of Samuel in which Peninnah mocks her husband’s favored wife, Hannah, for her childlessness. After enduring Peninnah’s attitude for several years, God blesses Hannah with several children of her own.

Delvey's ankle bracelet that she wears after being released from ICE custody.
Delvey’s ankle bracelet that she wears after being released from ICE custody.
Getty Images

Speaking to The Post on Thursday, Thomas accused Sorokin of “puppeteering” Shamsian. 

“I can still appear [on my own behalf],” she argued. Thomas, who is Jamaican American, also said Sorokin is “evidence that it is great to be white in America.” 

Thomas also countered Delvey’s snark with her own proposed book cover. In an edited mock-up shared with The Post, the tome titled “The Anna Delvey Reality: Social Antagonism is the Worst Form of Oppression” is splashed with images of Thomas alongside Delvey. In one picture, which shows the pair in what looks like a prison yard, Delvey is clad in a high-end Canada Goose puffer.

Anna Delvey in court in May 2019.
Anna Delvey in court in May 2019.
AFP via Getty Images

“Anna and I can release our books at the same time,” Thomas wrote. “Thank G-d I can’t get disbarred again. Maybe we will both make [the New York Times] bestseller list side by side.”

News of Thomas’ disbarment comes at a busy time for Delvey, who shuttles from her East Village apartment to parole meetings in expensive Ubers with a tracking device clipped to her ankle. Earlier this month, The Post reported that she is hoping to parlay her newfound freedom into hosting a series of free, trendy dinners.

“Although not yet confirmed, the dinner series is one of the many projects Anna currently has in development,” her rep said at the time.

Full Article & Source:
Fake heiress Anna Delvey’s former lawyer disbarred over alleged financial crimes

No comments: