Anna Sorokin, the woman who scammed victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by falsely posing as a German heiress, has sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), saying she contracted Covid after officials denied her multiple requests for a booster shot.
According to the class-action lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Sorokin, along with three other plaintiffs, filed the suit against Ice’s acting director, Tae Johnson, the Department of Homeland Security and its secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, reported NBC News.
The complaint alleges that Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey and the subject of the Netflix series Inventing Anna, tested positive in January after several requests for a booster shot were ignored by officials. The lawsuit claims Sorokin experienced “a fever, persistent cough, nausea, migraines, and body aches”.
Sorokin’s lawyers say she felt the lingering effects of her infection – including fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath and coughing – after leaving quarantine on 29 January.
Sorokin says she has several health problems, including a chronic kidney infection, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her lawyers say she was more vulnerable to serious infection or death as a result.
An Ice representative told NBC News the agency follows all CDC protocols related to Covid.
The lawsuit claims Ice has not adopted any policy related to booster shots, even as the CDC recommends booster shots for all eligible inmates.
Sorokin was referred to the ACLU by another non-profit, said the ACLU lawyer Arthur Spitzer.
“We were not looking to put fireworks around her name,” Spitzer told Reuters, but “we thought to the extent that her involvement brings additional attention to the problem, it’s a plus for everyone and not just for her.”
In a statement, Sorokin underscored her fear of contracting Covid a second time. “I joined this lawsuit because everyone who wants a booster shot to protect themselves should be able to get one,” she said.
Sorokin’s co-plaintiffs include Ramon Dominguez Gonzalez, 32, Kenet Jefet Hernandez Herrera, 24, and Miguel Angel Escalante, 36, Arizona, reported NBC.
The plaintiffs are hoping to represent a nationwide class of incarcerated people who are 55 or older or have higher risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, reported Reuters.
Sorokin was released in February 2021 after being sentenced to between four and 12 years in prison for theft of services, grand larceny and attempted grand larceny.
She is currently in federal custody where she faces possible deportation.