A young couple accused of stealing the identities of more than 16 people to live expensively and travel the world in style have agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, an attorney said Monday.
Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, will plead guilty to six counts, including two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering, the lawyer, Ronald Greenblatt, told The Associated Press.
"She's supposed to be graduating college now, and instead she's going to be going down to federal court in a few weeks and entering a plea," Greenblatt said.
Kirsch, who left Drexel University in Philadelphia after being charged, faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, with a potential of more than five years.
Her boyfriend Edward Anderton, 25, also signed a federal plea deal, Greenblatt said, but did not give details. Messages left for Anderton's attorney, Larry Krasner, were not immediately returned.
A federal information released Monday charges the couple with conspiracy, aggravated ID theft, access device fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. An information usually indicates the defendant's willingness to plead guilty.
Authorities allege the couple victimized at least 16 people — including friends, co-workers, neighbors, fellow students, bar patrons and others — by stealing their identities and credit card information for a year beginning in November 2006.
In all, Kirsch and Anderton obtained nearly $120,000 in cash and merchandise, authorities said, adding the couple unsuccessfully tried to obtain $112,000 more.
"These defendants helped themselves to the financial viability of their friends and co-workers, reinventing ways in which to victimize those who had trusted them, for little more than their own entertainment," U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan said Monday.
Anderton even stole personal data from someone who provided it as part of a job application at the real estate equity firm where he worked, authorities allege.
Police said the fraud enabled the couple to finance their $3,000-a-month Rittenhouse Square apartment and luxury trips to Paris, London and Hawaii.
City police released copies of the couple's vacation photos after their arrest in December. Detectives also showed off a table full of fake ID cards and driver's licenses they had seized, along with computers, printers, a machine that makes ID cards, $17,000 in cash and several neighbors' keys.
The vacation photos show the couple swimming in the Caribbean, dining at upscale resorts and kissing under the Eiffel Tower. Kirsch is often seen posing in bright bikinis and slinky outfits.
The two stole the identity of neighbors in their building and at least twice broke into other units, police said. The police search also turned up a book called "The Art of Cheating: A Nasty Little Book for Tricky Little Schemers and Their Hapless Victims."
Anderton, who has returned to his hometown of Everett, Wash., graduated in 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania with an economics degree. Kirsch, the daughter of a North Carolina plastic surgeon, now lives in Novato, Calif.
Police started investigating after a neighbor was told she had a package waiting from a British retailer — an order she had never placed. Suspecting identity theft, she called police, who staked out the UPS store and caught Anderton and Kirsch.
The two were subjected to a frenzy of local media attention, largely because of the provocative photos.
The couple were originally charged in state court. A judge dismissed the state charges Monday at the request of prosecutors.