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Prosecutors Charge 'Discount Bitcoin Bandits' With Robbery

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has charged two individuals with a robbery after they stole nearly $90,000 in a bitcoin fraud scheme.

Prosecutors alleged Friday that the “Discount Bitcoin Bandits” promoted advertisements about selling bitcoin at discounted rates online, but failed to deliver the coins when paid during one such sale. The duo, Precious Fitzgerald and Lawillie Hall, face years in prison if convicted on second-degree robbery charges.

The duo also allegedly robbed potential buyers at gunpoint when meeting up to complete the sales process. Fitzgerald was additionally charged with three counts of child abuse – an infant was allegedly present during some of the robberies – and two counts of grand theft.

“In one instance, Fitzgerald is accused of receiving a money transfer from a victim but never providing the promised bitcoin,” the District Attorney’s Office said. “In other instances, she allegedly met the victims in person and forcefully took the cash they had brought to purchase the bitcoins.”

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen a number of similar robberies that take place during in-person sales meetings, including a noteworthy case from last year that involved the theft of $1.8 million in ether.

Earlier this month, two brokers in Singapore were robbed of nearly $300,000 in cash during a meet-up. A suspect was later arrested and charged with robbery in connection with the incident.

Bitcoin and handcuffs image via Shutterstock

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