"Prison is so exhausting you wouldn't know," writes fake Russian-German heiress Anna Sorokin on Instagram, under a black and white photo of herself wearing black sunglasses while in bed.

Sorokin posted the image to her 75,000 followers after her release from the medium-security Albion prison in New York on Thursday, where she had spent three years and four months for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from banks, hotels and friends.

Sorokin, a Russian truck driver's daughter who had been living in Germany, reinvented herself as socialite Anna Delvey on arrival in the US in 2016, spinning an elaborate back story she hoped would help her swindle millions of dollars.

She was convicted of multiple counts of grand larceny as well as theft of services, having conned several banks into granting her loans of tens of thousands of dollars, and sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.

"She's on a 10 year parole," her lawyer Audrey A. Thomas told AFP on Friday, saying Sorokin has not been released from her sentence early.

"She can't even open a bank account without permission of the Board of Parole... She's not getting off light," Thomas added.

Thomas declined to say whether Sorokin, 30, will be deported to Germany. She had an expired tourist visa when she was convicted.

Fake heiress Anna Sorokin, seen here in court in 2019, has been freed from prison
Fake heiress Anna Sorokin, seen here in court in 2019, has been freed from prison AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY

"For Anna the next step is to put her life together and live with a semblance of normalcy," she said.

On Instagram fans hailed Sorokin's return, calling her a "queen."

Sorokin's scams began soon after her arrival in the US, as which she insinuated herself into high-rolling New York social circles.

From November 2016 to August 2017, she managed to travel free of charge on private jets and lived for months at luxury Manhattan hotels without paying the bill, according to New York prosecutors.

In one incident, the court heard, she skipped out on an $11,000 tab at The Beekman hotel in Manhattan after a 16-night stay.

Netflix bought the rights to her story for a series written by producer Shonda Rimes, with actress Julia Garner in the starring role.

Sorokin used the tens of thousands of dollars she received in Netflix royalties and consulting fees to pay her lawyers, court-ordered fines and restitution.

Actress, screenwriter and director Lena Dunham later announced she would also adapt the story for the small screen.