Identity-theft suspect accused of stealing more
Jocelyn S. Kirsch can't seem to break the habit. Already described as a poster child for identity theft by Philadelphia's top federal prosecutor, a handcuffed Kirsch ended up in court yesterday after prosecutors said she stole another credit card in California last week.
Jocelyn S. Kirsch can't seem to break the habit.
Already described as a poster child for identity theft by Philadelphia's top federal prosecutor, a handcuffed Kirsch ended up in court yesterday after prosecutors said she stole another credit card in California last week.
She wasn't charged in the theft, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski set federal bail at $50,000 and ordered Kirsch, 22, held under house arrest until another court hearing next week.
Kirsch is expected to plead guilty June 5 in U.S. District Court in Center City to a six-count complaint charging her and boyfriend Edward K. Anderton with using the good names and credit of others to finance a yearlong, $119,000 spending spree. Anderton, 25, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, has a court date Monday and also is expected to plead guilty.
U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan has said he would seek five-year terms for both.
A pale-looking Kirsch arrived in court wearing a Penn sweatshirt and sweatpants. Released from her handcuffs when she was seated for the hearing, held to modify the conditions of her release, the former Drexel University student said little but answered politely - "yes, ma'am," "no, ma'am" - when she was addressed by the judge.
Sitarski said Kirsch could return to California, where she has been living with her mother in Marin County, but cannot leave her house without official approval.
She also must report by phone three times a day to pretrial services, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, submit to random drug testing, and undergo drug and alcohol counseling.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen said Kirsch took the credit card of an acquaintance and used it.
After the court appearance, Lappen declined to divulge any details but said the conduct was the same as what got Kirsch in trouble in the first place and could figure in her sentencing.
"This kind of conduct calls into question her ability to get credit for acceptance of responsibility," Lappen said. "It will be part of the case one way or the other."
Earlier this month, Meehan called Kirsch and Anderton - dubbed a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde by police - the "poster children for identity theft."
No one was immune from their greed, Meehan said. They allegedly preyed on coworkers, neighbors and friends. The list also included another couple from whom the pair took information, first when they were guests and later when they burgled their hosts' home.
Officials said the duo's elaborate scheme involved at least 16 victims before they were arrested in December.
Their actions ranged from simply stealing purses at a Center City bar to establishing multiple accounts under different names and wearing disguises to withdraw money from some of those bank accounts, prosecutors said.
They allegedly used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.
The pair, who met in November 2006, lived together until their arrest in a Center City apartment. Anderton, who has stayed out of trouble, is currently living in Everett, Wash.