PHILADELPHIA — A young couple accused of stealing their neighbors' identities to pay for their lavish lifestyle are hoping to negotiate a plea deal and turn their lives around, a defense attorney said Thursday.
College student Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, and boyfriend Edward Anderton, who turned 25 Wednesday, used the scam to steal an estimated $100,000 this year alone and pay for trips to Paris, London and Hawaii and other luxury perks, police said.
Ronald Greenblatt, Kirsch's attorney, said the two will likely enter plea negotiations together.
"From the information I have, they're both responsible for this," he said. "For either one to be pointing the finger at the other just belies the evidence in the case."
Kirsch and Anderton were arrested Friday and charged with state counts of identity theft, forgery, unlawful use of a computer and related offenses. They posted bail, but turned themselves in Wednesday to face more charges, including theft and burglary.
Additional charges may be coming. "We're investigating with the intention of charging them federally," FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams said Thursday.
Police allege the pair stole the identity of neighbors in their upscale building _ and at least twice broke into their victims' units. They say detectives know of at least five victims so far, one of whom was taken for $30,000.
During a weekend search of the couple's $3,000-a-month apartment, police said they found $17,500 in cash, dozens of credit cards, fake driver's licenses, keys to unlock many of the apartments and mailboxes in their building, and an industrial machine that makes ID cards.
Police also found a laptop with dazzling array of travel photos: Kirsch modeling a red bikini at an elegant resort and reclining nude in a spa-sized bubble bath; the pair riding horseback on a beach and kissing beneath the Eiffel Tower. The photo album, released to the press, has attracted a crush of national media and untold Internet hits.
Bail for Anderton and Kirsch was raised Thursday after prosecutors said the two were being kicked out of their apartment and had no current fixed address. Kirsch's bail was set at $105,000 and Anderton's at $130,000.
Kirsch was released Thursday afternoon after her family posted bail; she dove into the back of a car with a hooded sweat shirt covering her face. She was expected to return to Winston-Salem, N.C., with her father, a plastic surgeon.
Anderton remained in custody Thursday.
Kirsch, in a sweat shirt and glasses, looked drawn and anxious when she appeared by video hookup for a bail hearing. She blinked hard and fought back tears as she heard lawyers discuss the crimes.
Anderton's mother broke down at one point, briefly sobbing as she waited for her son's hearing.
Anderton, originally from Everett, Wash., is a University of Pennsylvania graduate who had been on the school's swim team; he was recently fired from a job as a financial analyst. Kirsch is a student at Drexel University.
Greenblatt said Kirsch did well at Drexel and had had a bright career ahead of her.
"It's terrible that someone with this kind of potential would engage in this kind of activity and throw away unbelievable career opportunities in life," he said. "I'm just hopeful that she'll get some kind of chance to redeem herself."
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