Randi Romanoff, founder of Lights for Layla, a charity established in 2019 to improve safety measures at school bus stops in Lee county following the hit-and-run death of Layla Aiken has been accused of misusing funds.
According the Cape Coral Police, Randi Romanoff was arrested on Friday, August 28th for using the charity funds for personal use.
Through online fundraising and in-person events, Lights for Layla, Inc. was able to generate donations of approximately $72,804 according to court documents. “A portion of the raised funds went toward the intended purpose of supporting the Aiken family, however, the remaining donations were misappropriated and were not used toward bus stop safety improvements,” Cape Coral Police Department reported on Wednesday.
According to court documents, that was not the case. Romanoff spent $28,903.65 for personal use and transferred $45,697.27 to Layla’s mother without using the money on safety improvements.
The investigation by the Cape Coral Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit went underway after Lacey Williams and Jade Morton, also founders of the charity. During the investigation the Financial Crime Unit found that Randi Romanoff misappropriated the funds for her own personal use. None of the Lights for Layla, Inc. donations were used as they were intended and instead were used for personal spending; which included attorney’s fees, large cash withdrawals, Microsoft/Xbox, Diamondhead Beach Resort, utility bills, toll violations, retail shopping, restaurants, and other personal spending.
The case was forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office and resulted in a warrant being issued for Randi Romanoff’s arrest for the below listed charges. Randi Romanoff was served with the warrant while in custody at the Lee County Jail on unrelated charges.
|04/19/2019||1. SECOND DEGREE GRAND THEFT (PRINCIPAL) Statute: 812.014(1); 812.014(2b) Felony – Second Degree||9/2/2020 OBTS:3607173614 Sequence:1 Control Number:20-424414 Arresting Agency:Lee County Sheriff|
|04/19/2019||2. SCHEME TO DEFRAUD Statute: 817.034(4)(a)2 Felony – Second Degree||9/2/2020 OBTS:3607173614 Sequence:2 Control Number:20-424414 Arresting Agency:Lee County Sheriff|
|04/19/2019||3. PUBLIC ORDER CRIMES-OPR FTC SOL OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT 1ST VIOL Statute: 496.415(1) Felony – Third Degree||9/2/2020 OBTS:3607173614 Sequence:3 Control Number:20-424414 Arresting Agency:Lee County Sheriff|
|04/19/2019||4. FRAUD-FALSE STATEMENT-MISREPRESENT SOLICITATION AS CHARITY 1ST VIOL Statute: 496.415(7) Felony – Third Degree||9/2/2020 OBTS:3607173614 Sequence:4 Control Number:20-424414 Arresting Agency:Lee County Sheriff|