Business

Dennis Wafula

Couple faces robbery charges in ‘Discount Bitcoin Bandit’ case

Two people in Los Angeles have been charged with stealing more than $87,000 from people who sought to buy cryptocurrencies at a discounted price, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The couple, dubbed “Discount Bitcoin Bandits,” allegedly made online advertisements promising discounted BTC, and then stole the victims’ payments. Between October 2017 and February 2018, 27-year-old Precious Lanay Fitzgerald and 22-year-old Lawillie Joshua Hall stole a total of $87,126 from at least six people.

Authorities said in one instance, Fitzgerald received a money transfer from one of the victims, but did not provide the cryptocurrency, while in other cases, she would meet the victims in person and “forcefully took the cash they had brought” to buy the digital currency.

Hall allegedly helped Fitzgerald in at least two of the robberies and had used a gun, according to investigators. Authorities said an infant was also present in some of the robberies.

Fitzgerald was initially charged with four counts of felony second-degree robbery, two counts of felony child abuse and one count of felony grand theft in March. Two new charges—one felony count each of grand theft and child abuse—were recently added in her charge sheet. Hall was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery, and he, along with Fitzgerald, also faces gun allegations.

This was not the first time Precious Fitzgerald is on the wrong side of the law. In March 2010, Fitzgerald was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. She now faces a possible sentence of 29 years and 18 months in the state prison if found guilty of the crimes. Lawillei will also face up to 19 years and four months if found guilty.

Last month, another couple was arrested in the Philippines after they allegedly scammed 50 people into investing in NewG. The two, Arnel and Leonary Ordonio, managed to steal US$17 million (PHP900 Million) by promising 30% returns on investments made.

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