Federal attraction

Sources: 'Bonnie & Clyde' have been questioned

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Snapshot of Drexel student Jocelyn Kirsch and Edward Anderton, both charged with identity theft, forgery, unlawful use of a computer, and other counts.

FEDERAL authorities have questioned Jocelyn Kirsch and Edward Anderton since the pair's high-profile arrests last year on identity-theft charges, sources close to the case have told the Daily News.

The couple's alleged use of the Internet and the U.S. mail to buy items with credit-card accounts opened in others' names - and the interstate commerce - put Kirsch and Anderton on federal radar.

Kirsch's attorney, Ron Green-blatt, declined yesterday to comment on the case, which grabbed national headlines last month.

Efforts to reach Larry Krasner, Anderton's attorney, were unsuccessful.

In December, Greenblatt indicated that Kirsch, 22, and Anderton, 25, would probably seek a plea bargain.

"From the information I have, they're both responsible for this," he said in news reports.

"Taking the credit information from someone who lives across the hall from you - how anyone thinks they can get away with that kind of stupidity for more than a few months is beyond me," Greenblatt said then.

"They know how much trouble they're in. This is a stressful time for them."

And the angst might go up a notch for Kirsch and Anderton.

Local charges against the couple probably will be dropped and federal charges would then be applied, in the upcoming weeks or beyond, according to sources familiar with the case.

But, to date, it's a city case.

Philadelphia police said last month that the FBI would assist in examining the hard drives from four computers found in the pair's third-floor, $3,000-a-month, two-bedroom apartment in the Belgravia, on Chestnut Street near 18th, Center City.

Anderton and Kirsch, arrested in November and December, were charged with identity theft, burglary, unlawful use of a computer, forgery and other crimes.

Anderton, a 2005 Penn graduate with a degree in economics and Kirsch, who has been suspended from Drexel, are out on bail.

They have a preliminary hearing in Common Pleas court Feb. 12.

Police confiscated computer spyware, three lock boxes, nearly $18,000 in cash and counterfeit driver's licenses from several states in the pair's apartment.

Investigators also found credit cards and one passport in the names of some of their neighbors.

The couple is believed to have used the signature from the passport on one of the fake driver's licenses, police said.

The luxury-lovin' pair traveled the world - Paris, London and Turks and Caicos, to name a few locales - police said.

They had planned to fly to Morocco in December, her former classmates said, before the two were nabbed at a UPS store in University City.

Kirsch and Anderton are believed to have sold electronics or household goods on eBay, a law-enforcement source said.

The spoils were either shoplifted from area retailers or purchased illegally with others' credit cards over the Internet, the source said.

Authorities believe that the sale of the goods may explain the wads of cash found in their apartment, the source said.

The two were unemployed at the time of their arrest. Anderton was terminated from his analyst job with Lubert Adler Partners, a real-estate firm headquartered in Philadelphia that owns the Belgravia, sometime before September.

The couple is believed to have stayed in New York City last summer with a Penn buddy of Anderton and the buddy's roommate, the source said.

About three weeks later, both men were the victims of identity theft, resulting in $3,000 in losses, a law-enforcement source said. The two men filed reports with New York police.

Police have not said if Anderton's classmate and the roommate were among the victims of Anderton and Kirsch, dubbed "Bonnie and Clyde" by police.

Among the items found in the duo's apartment - and displayed at a news conference shortly after the arrests - was a UPS package addressed to Anderton's Penn buddy from New York.

Kirsch had been arrested in November 2005 and charged with retail theft at the Lord & Taylor in the King of Prussia Mall, according to Montgomery County records. She pleaded guilty and paid fines and court costs totaling $268.50.

The former Drexel student, who was majoring in international area studies, also was arrested on March 24, 2006, at Douglas Cosmetics, on Walnut Street near 36th, according to court records. The charges were dismissed.

A few months later, she allegedly shoplifted about $25 in goods, including baby oil and a women's shaver, from a CVS pharmacy on Broad Street near Girard Avenue, according to a law enforcement source. *