Couple charged with living high life on neighbours' accounts

Couple charged with living high life on neighbours' accounts
Couple charged with living high life on neighbours' accounts,,2222534,00.html 

By Ed Pilkington in New York
December 5, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The gallery of photographs told one story: a good-looking couple smiling 
to camera in front of the Eiffel Tower, riding horses on a white sand 
beach in Hawaii, sporting matching red swimwear in a luxury seaside 

When police officers searched the Philadelphia flat of Jocelyn Kirsch 
and Edward Anderton they uncovered a different story. They found four 
computers, a scanner, two printers and a machine that makes identity 
cards - the equipment needed to support what detectives now believe was 
a two-year, $100,000 (49,000) spending spree funded largely by fraud.

On Friday the couple were charged with identity fraud, forgery and a 
host of other counts.

The police investigation began last month after the couple's neighbour 
complained that her identity had been stolen. The neighbour said she had 
been told to pick up a package at a nearby delivery station even though 
she had ordered nothing, and police watched as Kirsch and Anderton 
picked up the package, which turned out to be luxury lingerie from 

Piecing together events, detectives now allege that the couple, who were 
both privately educated at good schools and colleges, cheated several 
people in their apartment building.

"They were like a parasite that infected that building," Detective Terry 
Sweeney told the Associated Press.

"They were two young people that were given many gifts in life. And the 
very best thing they could do was victimise other people."

In their flat they had fake drivers' licences, numerous credit cards and 
keys to the apartments and postal boxes of neighbours. There was also 
$18,000 in cash, and a copy of The Art of Cheating: A Nasty Little Book 
for Tricky Little Schemers and Their Hapless Victims [1].

Their travels took them to Paris, London, Hawaii and the Turks & Caicos 
Islands. Kirsch, 22, a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, 
treated herself to a $2,200 hair extension using a false cheque.

Anderton, aged 25, a graduate of the Ivy League University of 
Pennsylvania, was recently sacked from a job as a financial analyst, 
though the reasons for his dismissal were unclear.

So far police say they have found five victims of the couple's 
activities, one of who was stung for $30,000.


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