PHILADELPHIA – A woman pleaded guilty Monday in a brazen identity-theft scheme that she and her boyfriend used to fund exotic vacations and a lavish lifestyle.
Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, and her ex-boyfriend Edward Anderton, 25, face a minimum two years in prison after admitting to aggravated identity theft and other federal crimes.
Kirsch declined the judge's offer to speak on the plea. She said she has been receiving counseling and medication for mental health issues.
Kirsch and Anderton, who pleaded guilty last month, acknowledge they stole the identities of friends and neighbors in the Philadelphia area to net more than $100,000 in goods and services.
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Police found evidence of their lavish trips in digital photos that show them riding horseback on the beach and posing at ritzy hotel pools.
The scheme unraveled when an employee of an upscale salon told police that a check for Kirsch's $2,250 hair extensions had bounced. About the same time, a neighbor of the couple told police 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" after police released their travel photos, which show them in the Caribbean, Paris and Hawaii.
Kirsch, a former Drexel University student, 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 Pennsylvania.
Anderton, a University of Pennsylvania graduate originally from Everett, Wash., pleaded guilty last month to six counts, including bank fraud, money laundering and the aggravated ID theft charge.
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 have said.
Kirsch is being sentenced on Oct. 17. Anderton's sentencing date is Sept. 19.