YouTube Twin Pranksters Who Staged Fake Bank Robberies Pleads Guilty

Pappi Hex

YouTube stars Alan and Alex Stokes, twins known for provocative video gags, have pleaded guilty to charges that involve two fake bank robberies they staged in California, one of which led the police to pull their guns on the brothers unsuspecting Uber driver.

Aged 23-years, the twin brothers rose to fame on YouTube filming prank videos which got them nearly 7 million subscribers. 

The Stoke brothers were charged each with one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, menace, or fraud, and two misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting an emergency in connection with a pair of now-removed videos they filmed on October 2019 in which they pretended to have just robbed a bank in the city of Irvine.

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According to the office of the district attorney of Orange County, California, the charges carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted on all counts. 

However, the brothers accepted a bargain offered by the judge reducing the felony count to a misdemeanor and imposing a more lenient sentence that had them do 160 hours of community service, one year of formal probation, and ordered to pay restitution, all in return for a guilty plea.

The judge also ordered the brothers to stay away from the University of Irvine which the location which they carried out one of the crimes, and to as well stop making videos that mimic criminal behavior.

The videos that got the Stoke brothers in this mess involve the brothers dressed in black wearing ski masks, carrying duffle bags full of cash as they made it look like they had just robbed a bank while their videographer recorded the stunt.

They ordered an Uber and demanded they be taken somewhere, but the Uber driver who was unaware of the prank refused to drive them. A bystander who saw the incident called law enforcement on the brothers believing that they just robbed a bank and wanted to carjack the Uber driver.

When the police arrived, the Uber driver was ordered out of his vehicle at gunpoint before realizing it was a gag.

The police let the Stoke brothers go with a warning but a few hours later the brothers performed the same kind of gag at a university campus and were arrested.

"These crimes could have easily resulted in someone being seriously hurt or killed," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. "An active bank robbery is not a casual police response and these police officers were literally risking their lives to help people they believed were in danger. It is irresponsible and reckless that these two individuals cared more about increasing their number of followers on the Internet than the safety of those police officers or the safety of the innocent Uber driver who was ordered out of his car at gunpoint."

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