LA Prosecutors Charge ‘Discount Bitcoin Bandits’

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office has revealed through its website that it has charged a couple for stealing thousands of dollars from people wishing to buy cryptocurrencies.

Authorities charged Precious Lanay Fitzgerald with four counts of second degree theft, two counts of child abuse and one count of grand robbery on March 16. In an amended complaint filed yesterday, additional charges have been made which includes two new charges of grand theft, child abuse and prior conviction allegations.

Lawillie Joshua Hall was charged by authorities on March 19 with two counts of second degree robbery.

Known as the “Discount Bitcoin Bandits”, the defendants are also accused of gun allegations and the charges also consist of prior conviction allegations against Fitzgerald.

A preliminary hearing in relation to the amended complaints is slated in the coming few days at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Prosecutors are suggesting bail at $570,000 for Fitzgerald and $200,000 for Hall.

According to the accusations, the couple stole $87,125 from six individuals from October to February through the use of online notices advertising discounted Bitcoin for sale. The couples are alleged to have stole money from clients who paid money to get the purportedly ‘discounted’ Bitcoin.

It is reported that Fitzgerald received a money transfer from one victim but failed to provide the Bitcoin. At other occasions, she supposedly met the potential buyers in person and forcefully took money from them. In at least two of the crimes, it is claimed that Hall used a handgun to assist Fitzgerald. An infant was allegedly present during one of the robberies.

This is not the first time Fitzgerald has been found wanting by the law. In March 2010, she was convicted for assault with a deadly weapon in addition to a firearm charges. It is likely that she will get the maximum sentence of 29 years and 18 months in prison if found guilty, while Hall could face as much as 19 years and four months.

The case which is presently under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery-homicide division is being prosecuted by John C. Weller, deputy district attorney for the cyber-crime division.


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