It’s been nearly a year since Retina LaValla of Baudette, MN created a GoFundMe campaign called “Support for our boys family!” intended to raise money for the families of three boaters who went missing in Lake of the Woods. Two of the men’s bodies were found shortly after their boat capsized near the Canada border; the third man’s body was found earlier this year.
Approximately four months after the men went missing, authorities arrested LaValla — now 29 years old — and accused her of stealing from the $27,000 raised via her GoFundMe campaign for the men. Back in May, LaValla’s lawyer Alan Bradley Fish “argued both of LaValla’s charges should be dismissed because she did not purposefully raise the money with the intention of stealing it.”
Investigators say LaValla told them repeatedly that “she was going to pay [the money] back eventually and the families ended up getting paid, so it was no big deal.”
She was charged with two counts of felony theft on February 9th, however pleaded guilty to just one charge this past Wednesday. Her sentencing is scheduled for October 19.
We will, as always, keep you updated.