`Discount Bitcoin Bandits' Charged With Robbing Prospective Buyers

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A man and woman dubbed the ``Discount Bitcoin Bandits'' have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from people trying to buy the cryptocurrency, including some who were allegedly robbed, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.

Precious Lanay Fitzgerald, 27, is charged with four counts of second- degree robbery, three counts of child abuse and two counts of grand theft, along with an allegation that she was convicted in 2010 of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Co-defendant Lawillie Joshua Hall, 22, is charged with two counts of second-degree robbery.

The two also face gun allegations.

Prosecutors allege that the two stole just over $87,000 from six people between October and February by using online notices and communications advertising the sale of discount Bitcoins and then stealing the victims' payments.

In some instances, Fitzgerald allegedly met the prospective customers and then forcefully took the cash they brought to purchase the Bitcoins, and in another instance she allegedly received a money transfer but never provided the promised Bitcoin to the buyer, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Hall allegedly helped Fitzgerald in at least two of the robberies, and an infant was allegedly present during some of the robberies, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Fitzgerald and Hall were arrested March 15 by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division and have been in custody since then, jail records show.

They are due back at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse for a hearing next Wednesday.

Photo: Getty Images

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