LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office revealed that a man and woman coined the “Discount Bitcoin Bandits” were charged with stealing thousands of dollars from individuals who were interested in buying the cryptocurrency.
Precious Lanay Fitzgerald, 27, was initially charged with four counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of child abuse and one count of grand theft, all felonies, on March 19. Two new charges, one felony count each of grand theft and child abuse, were filed on Wednesday, April 25, according to the amended complaint in case BA466388. Lawillie Joshua Hall, 22, was charged March 19 with two counts of second-degree robbery. Both defendants face gun allegations, and the charges include prior conviction allegations against Fitzgerald.
According to prosecutors, the defendants allegedly stole $87,125 from six people from October 2017 to February 2018 by using online notices and communications advertising the sale of discount Bitcoins then stealing the victims’ payments. In one case, Fitzgerald is accused of receiving a money transfer from a victim, but failed to provide the promised Bitcoin. In other incidents, Fitzgerald allegedly met the victims in person and forcefully took the cash they brought to purchase the Bitcoins.
Hall allegedly helped Fitzgerald in at least two of the robberies and used a handgun. An infant allegedly was present during some of the robberies. Fitzgerald was convicted March 22, 2010, of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in case YA075924.
She faces a possible sentence of 29 years and 18 months in state prison if convicted as charged. Hall faces up to 19 years and four months in prison if convicted as charged. Deputy District Attorney John C. Weller of the Cyber Crime Division is prosecuting the case. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide Division.