Jet-setting college swindler back in Philly jail

Convicted identity thief Jocelyn Kirsch, of the famed "Bonnie and Clyde" duo, will face a hearing in federal court.
Convicted identity thief Jocelyn Kirsch, of the famed "Bonnie and Clyde" duo, will face a hearing in federal court.
Posted: April 23, 2014

PHILADELPHIA Jocelyn Kirsch, the jet-setting college swindler whose exploits as a high-flying identity thief earned her tabloid prominence seven years ago, returned to federal custody in Philadelphia, this time on a probation violation charge that could send her back to prison.

At a hearing Monday, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered that Kirsch remain locked up until a federal court decides whether a recent shoplifting conviction in California violates the terms of her post-sentence court supervision. A hearing is set for April 29.

Kirsch, now 28, was convicted in California in January of two felony counts of burglary and sentenced to one year in jail.

Investigators in Contra Costa County, near San Francisco, said she stole a Tory Burch handbag and damaged clothing worth $463 at a Nordstrom department store. After her arrest, she admitted other shoplifting forays at retailers including Banana Republic, BCBG, and J. Crew.

That most recent conviction comes six years after a federal judge sentenced Kirsch, then a student at Drexel University, to five years in prison for an identity theft spree she carried out with then-boyfriend and University of Pennsylvania graduate Edward Anderton.

Kirsch was released from federal custody in 2011. According to public records, she had been living in Berkeley, Calif., for less than a year before her most recent arrest.

The duo - dubbed "Bonnie and Clyde" by investigators - scammed nearly $120,000 between September 2006 and November 2007 by forging checks and opening fake credit card accounts in the names of friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

The pair spent the money on a lavish lifestyle that included frequent visits to pricey salons, expensive dinners, and luxury trips to Paris, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Appearing in court Monday, Kirsch struck a far different figure from the glamorous student portrayed in photos presented at her original trial.

Dressed in an olive prison jumpsuit and with her hands cuffed behind her back, Kirsch joked with U.S. marshals and offered a smile to Louis Lappen, the first assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted her original case. Lappen and Kirsch's lawyer, Ronald L. Greenblatt, would not discuss her current case.


jroebuck@phillynews.com

215-925-2649

@jeremyrroebuck

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