PHILADELPHIA – A young beauty set to plead guilty to identity theft after a year of lavish globe-trotting hasn't changed her ways, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.
Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, stole and used an acquaintance's credit card in California, where she has been living while awaiting her federal plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lou Lappen told a judge.
A tense-seeming Kirsch, wearing a gray University of Pennsylvania sweat shirt, was taken into custody Wednesday and appeared in court in handcuffs for a bail hearing. A judge put her on house arrest, with electronic monitoring, pending her expected guilty plea next week.
"This is just a very sad case of a clearly troubled young woman," defense lawyer Ronald Greenblatt said afterward. "It clearly shows mental-health issues."
U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan this month called Kirsch and her Ivy League boyfriend, co-defendant Edward Anderton, 25, the "poster children for identity theft."
The media dubbed the duo "Bonnie and Clyde," after the notorious 1930s bank robbers, following their arrest.
Travel photos show the alleged grifters smooching under the Eiffel Tower, riding horseback on a beach and flaunting matching red swimsuits by a swanky hotel pool. Prosecutors say they obtained $120,000 in goods and services after stealing financial information from friends, co-workers and neighbors.
Kirsch, a photogenic, auburn-haired, former Drexel University student, has not been charged in the California theft. But it could enhance the probable two- to five-year sentence she faces in the pending case.
"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."
She plans to plead guilty to the five-count information, which includes aggravated identity theft, money laundering and fraud charges, Greenblatt has said. The charges carry a two-year mandatory minimum and a guideline range of about five years, Lappen said.
Kirsch's father is a plastic surgeon in North Carolina and her mother is a nurse in California; no family members attended the unscheduled hearing Wednesday. She has been living in Novato, Calif., with her mother and working at a Starbucks.
Anderton, an economics graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who worked in real-estate finance, is living with his family in Everett, Wash. His plea hearing is set for Monday.