Krishelle Layton, ‘Ninja Dorian’s’ Mother, Charged with Fraud
Krishelle Layton, who made widespread community appeals for her allegedly terminal brain cancer-stricken son nicknamed "Ninja Dorian," was arrested Tuesday and is charged with defrauding donors, according to documents filed in Natrona County Circuit Court.
Layton was charged with obtaining property from another person by false pretenses with the intent to defraud that person, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Wednesday afternoon, she made her initial appearance in circuit court, where Judge Patchen set her bond at $2,000 cash or surety . She will have a preliminary hearing in a few weeks to determine whether she will be bound over to state district court for trial.
The cash total obtained by Layton through fundraising events and other donations for her now 6-year-old child amounted to about $8,000 in cash alone, not counting parties, other events and in-kind services from businesses and charitable organizations, according to the affidavit filed with the charging document.
The investigation apparently began on Feb. 20, when the Casper Police Department told the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation about reports of a possible fraud, according to DCI Agent Tina Trimble's affidavit.
"Layton had represented to the Casper Police Department and other agencies and individuals through social media, traditional media and personal representations that D.L. had untreatable terminal brain cancer and that he would die in a short period of time," according to the affidavit.
"However, doubts had begun to surface about all the claims Krishelle Layton was making in relationship to her solicitation of funds for D.L.," Trimble wrote. Trimble is out of town and could not be reached for comment.
The supposedly terminally ill child had been named police chief for a day, visited other cancer-stricken children, had the Facebook page "Karate Chop Cancer with Ninja Dorian," and was the subject of a CNN iReport.
One charitable organization had obtained a medical waiver to speak with the Dorian's doctor, Michael Rytting, a pediatric oncology specialist in Houston. Rytting told the organization that the child indeed had a tumor, but its condition had improved, he was stable and could lead a normal life, according to the affidavit.
"Further, Dr. Rytting indicated the tumor was not growing and that contrary to what Krishelle Layton had said, Dr. Rytting had never advised the Layton family to make any death preparations or to move to Wyoming. He further said that other physical symptoms described by Layton had not been observed in the child and that some of the conditions during MRI's and other medical procedures simply never occurred."
Among some of the alleged fraud actions, DCI agents learned from a local charity that Layton claimed to have been fired from her previous job because of taking her son to cancer appointments. This charity paid $595.38 for two car payments and $200 in cash to buy groceries.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation determined that Dorian was still eligible for a trip to Disneyland, but his mother stated he could not travel by airplane because of health reasons. DCI agents later determined this was not a legitimate medical concern.
Layton's family told former Casper Police Chief Chris Walsh that they had no permanent housing, and he let them stay with them for two weeks. On Feb. 14, Layton was making death preparations for Dorian, and Walsh asked her why she hadn't taken her son to the doctor. Layton then packed the family's belongings left in the middle of the night.
Trimble also wrote that Layton had set up an account with the GoFundMe.com website in December -- the month she moved to Casper -- and collected 29 donations amounting to $1,715.
Other people in the community had conducted birthday parties, auctions and other events.
On Feb. 26, Dorian had been placed outside Layton's home, and no further medical problems have been observed.