Swindling Stories that made it to the Big Screen (and which to binge during the 5th Covid Wave!)

True crime makes some of the best stories and Hollywood can agree. Adaptation of crime stories have become popular amongst film makers and become immensely interesting to viewers.

Here are 5 maliciously delicious swindling scandals that made the red carpet, or in terms of the Covid-19 era, the online streaming sites, such as Netflix and Hulu.

1. Inventing Anna (2022)


Anna Sorokin

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The 8 episode limited tv series follows the story of Anna Sorokin, or better known by her alias, Anna Delvey, in the lead up to her arrest for fraud in 2017. Sorokin, scammed her way into New York high society, posing as a German Heiress with an enormous trust fund that would have been made accessible to her on her 25th birthday. From 2013 – 2017, she managed to make ties with influential people in the art, fashion and luxury scene in New York, while trying to set up a business, the Anna Delvey Foundation, an exclusive art club created for high society.


Actress Julia Garner plays Anna Sorokin in Inventing Anna and is seen filming the show in New York City.

Gotham/GC Images vis Getty Images

Using Microsoft Word to fake bank statements, a voice altering app to fake a German financier and more, Sorokin was able to make loan applications to some of the most powerful financial institutions of Wall Street. The story was adapted from a 2018 New York Magazine article written by journalist Jessica Pressler. The show traces the journey of a journalist, Vivian Kent, (a fictional character based on Jessica Pressler) and her quest to write a bombshell article that exposes the loophole of lies of banks and high society in New York.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

2. FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019)



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The 1 hour 37 minute documentary captures the astonishing failure of a glamourous music festival, Fyre Festival, created by ‘entrepreneur’, Billy McFarland, that turned out to be a scam. The con artist promoted the festival as a ‘music experience’ on a private island and strongly pushed for the company’s Fyre mobile app as a way of booking artists to play music at the festival. The festival got even more attention when supermodels like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber were in its advertising video.

However, all wraps were unveiled when festival-goers were met with a string of problems that organizers could not resolve, including accommodation, food, medical aid service, security and more. People were shocked to be served cheese sandwiches and offered tents as accommodation instead of the villas and gourmet cuisine promised. Organizers were part of eight lawsuits that looked into the swindling story of a festival that never happened.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

3. The Tinder Swindler (2022)



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Simon Leviev, or lesser known by his real name, Shimon Hayut, is a con womanizer, now, better known as the Tinder Swindler as many around the world watch this documentary and find out the appalling details of how he scammed women on Tinder for money. The documentary starts with women giddily sharing their experience of Leviv, a self proclaimed billionaire and founder of diamond manufacturing company, LLD Diamonds, after swiping and matching with him on the dating app, Tinder.

They were all treated to luxurious dates before he started borrowing large sums of money from them. Using different identities over many years, it was revealed that he had committed international fraud and was finally caught for his ‘tinder swindling’ when a group of women he scammed joined forces with a team of journalists from Norwegian publication VG, in a six-month investigation of Hayut before publishing the exposé.



David McNew/Getty Images

Hayut is now out of prison and has his own business advice giving business, also rumored to have signed with a Los Angeles artist manager to move his career into the entertainment industry.

Where can I watch it? Netflix

4. The Dropout (2022)



seksan Mongkhonkhamsao vis Getty Images

The Dropout is based on the true case of Elizabeth Holmes and her ambitious startup, Theranos, a biotech company, after dropping out of Stanford University. The company was created off Holmes’ fear of needles and it was her mission to help people run blood tests with only a few drops of blood. Clients would be able to obtain information from the test and be diagnosed at home for less cost than usual.


Elizabeth Holmes

David Orrell/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The Silicon Valley based Holmes was named the female version of Steve Jobs, she herself took it upon herself to start dressing like him – black turtlenecks, and started speaking in a deeper voice to brand herself like him. However, none of Holmes’ technology was shared amongst investors and she had complete control over the capital. Holmes actually never had a way to make the tests work but just rode off investor’s faith and her own publicity to grow the company’s investment up to 700 million USD. The mysterious information on her company eventually led to a public probe when a scientist on Holmes’ team took his own life and a journalist published an exposé on the company.

The Dropout will premiere on March 3rd online.

Where can I watch it? Hulu

5. Hustlers (2019)



Nina Marsiglio / EyeEm via Getty Images

This is yet another New York Magazine article turned movie story of a group of strippers in New York. Journalist Jessica Pressler, the same one who published the Anna Sorokin story, published in the article in 2015 and shocked the world when it was revealed that a group of strippers work together to steal money off of male clients, most of which worked in financial institutions of Wall Street, after being unsatisfied with the cuts stripper clubs take from them.

Following the ring leaders, Ramona and Destiny, work up a scheme where they pretend to drink with the men while lacing their drinks with drugs, then get cash or charge their clients’ credit cards to the maximum to extort money. The movie stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, and more and tells the tale of crime, struggle, and sisterhood. 

Where can I watch it? Hulu

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