PHILADELPHIA (July 15) - A 22-year-old woman will probably face six
years in prison after admitting that she and her boyfriend
pulled off a brazen identity-theft scheme that funded trips, fancy
dinners and expensive salon visits.
Travel photos show Jocelyn Kirsch and ex-beau Edward Anderton, a
onetime Ivy League swimmer, posing in matching red swimsuits by a
luxury hotel pool and kissing near the Eiffel Tower. But in court
Monday, the petite Kirsch sported a rumpled green prison uniform as
she pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and other federal
The counts carry a two-year minimum sentence, but prosecutors
expect her to get about six years under federal guidelines.
Kirsch, speaking barely above a whisper, declined the judge's
offer to comment after her plea. She did disclose that she has been
receiving counseling and medication for mental health issues.
Kirsch and Anderton, 25, acknowledge they stole the identities
of friends and neighbors in the Philadelphia area in 2006 and 2007
to net more than $116,000 in goods and services - and tried to
obtain twice that.
"She and Edward Anderton stole the identities from numerous
people from all walks of their lives, from co-workers to neighbors,
anyone that they encountered," Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis
Lappen said afterward.
Police found evidence of their trips in dozens of digital photos
on their laptop computers. The scheme unraveled when an employee at
an upscale city salon told police that a check for Kirsch's $2,250
hair extension job had bounced. About the same time, a neighbor of
Kirsch and Anderton told police that a package that she did not
order had been sent to her.
A federal prosecutor called the high-flying pair "the poster
children for identity fraud." Kirsch maintains that she or her
family legitimately funded some or most of the international trips,
lawyer Ronald Greenblatt said.
Kirsch, a former Drexel University student, is the daughter of a
North Carolina plastic surgeon and lived until last month with her
mother in Northern California, where prosecutors say she continued
to engage in identity theft while awaiting court appearances in
Anderton, a University of Pennsylvania graduate originally from
Everett, Wash., pleaded guilty last month to the same six counts,
which include bank fraud and money laundering.
Lappen said Monday that the probable sentencing range is about
five years for Anderton. Kirsch could get more prison time because
of the California conduct, which could negate credit for acceptance
of responsibility, he said.
The pair deployed an increasingly sophisticated set of schemes
to obtain more than $116,000 in goods and services and tried to
obtain at least another $122,000 more, prosecutors said.
Kirsch is being sentenced on Oct. 17. Anderton's sentencing date
is Sept. 19.