PHILADELPHIA — A jet-setting college beauty who, along with her Ivy League boyfriend, swindled more than $100,000 from friends and neighbors through a complex identity theft scheme was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.
Jocelyn Kirsch, a former Drexel University student, and University of Pennsylvania graduate Edward Anderton of Everett used the money for expensive salon visits, fancy dinners and lavish trips.
Federal guidelines called for a prison term of 70 months or more, but U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno credited Kirsch for her remorse and for her July 14 guilty plea to aggravated identity theft and other crimes. The judge also ordered full restitution to the 50 victims.
In court Friday, the defense painted Kirsch as a young woman desperate for a sense of identity after a dysfunctional childhood capped by her parents’ bitter divorce and their near-abandonment the day she graduated high school.
Kirsch, 23, and Anderton, 25, acknowledged stealing the identities of friends and neighbors in Philadelphia in 2006 and 2007 to glean more than $116,000 in goods and services. They broke into their neighbors’ apartments to steal mailbox keys; bought a machine to make their own fake drivers’ licenses; and sold nonexistent laptops and iPods on eBay.
Photos of the lovers enjoying ritzy escapades in Paris and Hawaii — released by police after their December arrest — quickly became tabloid and Internet fodder.
The scheme unraveled late last year after an upscale salon told police that a check for Kirsch’s $2,250 hair extension job had bounced. Police investigated and found dozens of identity-theft victims.
Anderton’s sentencing is set for Nov. 14. He pleaded guilty to the same six felonies as Kirsch, a list that includes money laundering and mail fraud. But he could get less time because of his clean record since his arrest.
Kirsch lost credit because she stole the identity of a Starbucks co-worker in California — and rode off with a $2,000 bicycle after a store let her take it for a spin — after her arrest.