Fake heiress 'enabled' by 'system' for wealthy

The defense attorney for fake German heiress Anna Sorokin said Tuesday that his client was merely "buying time" and intended to pay back the friends and banks she's accused of swindling.

Attorney Todd Spodek told a Manhattan jury in his closing argument that Sorokin had ambitious business plans to build a private arts club and never intended to commit a crime.

Prosecutors say Sorokin bilked people and businesses out of $275,000 over a 10-month period.

They say she peddled bogus bank statements in applying for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club. But Spodek told jurors that Sorokin "was ambitious, she was persistent and she was determined to make her business a reality."

She may have led an unethical and unorthodox lifestyle, he added, but Sorokin was "enabled every step of the way by a system that favors people with money."

"There's a little bit of Anna in all of us," Spodek said. "This is the life she chose to live."

Deliberations are expected later Tuesday.