Philly's 'Bonnie' gets 5 months for probation violation

Posted: May 01, 2014

YOU WOULD THINK after all these years, after all the front-page stories and tawdry, cleavage-heavy photo galleries, that there wouldn't be any questions left to answer about Jocelyn Kirsch.

Yet U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno found himself wrestling with one in a mostly deserted federal courtroom yesterday afternoon, as Kirsch, 28, sat motionless in front of him.

Robreno, who sentenced Kirsch in 2008 to five years in prison on fraud and identity-theft charges, pondered whether anyone would ever nail down the truth about the dark-haired beauty: Was she a tortured soul who suffered from mental illness, or a master manipulator of the highest order?

If there's ever a movie made about Kirsch's exploits, it might well end with that question hanging in the air.

In real life, she'll have some quiet time to mull it herself.

Robreno handed the former Drexel University student a five-month prison sentence for violating the terms of her federal probation.

She was caught shoplifting in a Walnut Creek, Calif., Nordstrom department store in 2012, and pleaded guilty last year to two felony counts of second-degree commercial burglary. In January, she received a one-year prison sentence in California.

Robreno said the sentence he imposed yesterday could be served concurrently with her sentence in California, where she had been eligible to be moved to house arrest. That possibility now seems unlikely.

Kirsch and her former boyfriend, Edward Anderton, became known nationally as "Bonnie and Clyde" when authorities busted their stunning identity-theft operation in 2007.

The dashing duo stole the identities of their friends, neighbors and co-workers, and lived a life of luxury - while defrauding those closest to them of nearly $120,000.

Kirsch was released from prison in 2011, but soon found herself broke and alone, said her attorney, Ronald Greenblatt.

She struggled with mental-health issues and didn't have health insurance, Greenblatt said. Federal probation officials were of no help to Kirsch, who had to contend with endless media attention, he said.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen scoffed at Greenblatt's description of Kirsch.

"She can get over on anybody when she needs to," Lappen said, while pleading with Robreno to follow the sentencing guidelines, which called for a four- to 10-month sentence.

Kirsch didn't speak when given an opportunity by Robreno to address the court. Afterward, Lappen said he was pleased with the five-month sentence. Greenblatt declined to comment.

Where the story goes from here is anyone's guess. "I cannot predict the future for Jocelyn Kirsch or anyone else," Lappen said.


On Twitter: @dgambacorta

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|