News Releases

November 7, 2019: ‘Discount Bitcoin Bandits’ Plead to Robbery of Would-Be Buyers

Paul Eakins, Public Information Officer

Two East Hollywood residents known as the “Discount Bitcoin Bandits” have admitted to robbing people who sought to buy the cryptocurrency in 2017 and 2018, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Precious Lanay Fitzgerald, 29, pleaded no contest today to one count of second-degree robbery and admitted allegations that a handgun was used during the crime and she had a prior felony conviction.

Her co-defendant, Lawillie Joshua Hall, 23, pleaded no contest on April 2 to one felony count of second-degree robbery and admitted an allegation that he was in possession of a handgun.

Fitzgerald is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay $85,715 in restitution under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement. Her sentencing is scheduled on Nov. 22 in Department 121 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Hall is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison and ordered to pay $29,900 in restitution. His sentencing is on Dec. 17 in Department 121.

Deputy District Attorney John Weller of the Cyber Crime Division prosecuted case BA466388.

From October 2017 through February 2018, Fitzgerald stole money from five people by using online notices and communications advertising the sale of discount bitcoins, according to court testimony. She met the victims in person and forcefully took the cash they had brought to purchase the cryptocurrency.

Hall helped Fitzgerald in two of the robberies, according to testimony.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide Division.