Plea expected from ID theft suspect

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">In this undated photo released by the Philadelphia Police Department, shown is Edward Anderton of Everett, Wash. Anderton, 25, and Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, a student at Drexel University, were charged Friday, Nov. 30 with identity theft, forgery, unlawful use of a computer, and a laundry list of other counts. Their alleged fraud scheme, estimated at &#36;100,000 this year alone, paid for jaunts to Paris, London and Hawaii and other luxury perks, including Kirsch&#39;s stop at a salon for &#36;1,700 worth of hair extensions, police said. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Philadelphia Police Department, HO&#41;</span></div>
May 12, 2008 5:26:43 AM PDT
A former college student accused of stealing people's credit to travel the world with her Ivy League boyfriend is nearing a federal plea deal, her lawyer said. Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, and Edward Anderton, 25, are due in state court in Philadelphia on Monday for a preliminary hearing. They will not appear as the case is moved to federal court, the lawyer said.

"It's obviously been a difficult, taxing process for her and her family," lawyer Ronald Greenblatt told The Associated Press on Saturday. He declined to discuss details of the potential plea.

But given the scope of the alleged fraud, which police put at more than $100,000, prison time is likely under federal guidelines.

Both Anderton's lawyer, Larry Krasner, and federal prosecutors declined to comment this week.

The couple's travel photos show the couple swimming in the Caribbean, dining at upscale resorts and kissing under the Eiffel Tower. Kirsch, then a Drexel University student, is often seen posing in bright bikinis and slinky outfits.

Police released the laptop photos after the couple's arrest in December and said they had used other people's money to finance their $3,000-a-month Philadelphia condo and luxury trips to Paris, London and Hawaii.

Authorities charged that they stole the identity of neighbors in their building and at least twice broke into other units.

Detectives 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 neighbor's keys.

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."

"They were two young people that were given many gifts in life," Philadelphia Detective Terry Sweeney said in December, reflecting on the couple's supportive families and private schooling. "And the very best thing they could do was victimize other people."

Anderton, a competitive swimmer from California, graduated in 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania with an economics degree.

Kirsch, the daughter of a North Carolina plastic surgeon, would have graduated from Drexel this spring.

Greenblatt has said he believes the pair were equally responsible for their downfall.

Police started investigating after a neighbor suspected her identity had been stolen. When UPS told the woman she had a package waiting from a British retailer - an order she had never placed - police staked out the UPS store.

Anderton and Kirsch came to collect it and were arrested. They were soon released on bail amid a frenzy of media attention and have not been back in court since.

Both are believed to be living out of state with relatives.


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