A 33-year-old woman, who worked as a 911 dispatcher at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana, was arrested by the same law enforcement agency after being accused of refusing to return $1.2 million that was mistakenly transferred into her account.
According to the New Orleans Advocate, financial services company Charles Schwab & Co. had initially intended to transfer $82.56 into Kelyn Spadoni’s Fidelity Brokerage Services account when they committed that error. Upon realizing such a humongous amount of cash had been deposited into her account, authorities say Spadoni quickly transferred the funds to another account and used some of it to purchase a home as well as a luxury car.
The accused was arrested on April 7 and charged with theft valued at over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office also fired her after she was apprehended.
Touching on the incident, a spokesperson at the Sheriff’s Office, Capt. Jason Rivarde, affirmed the money in question did not belong to Spadoni despite the fact that it was transferred into her account.
“She has no legal claim to that money,” he said. “Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error.”
Besides having to answer a criminal case in court, a federal lawsuit has also been filed against Spadoni by Charles Schwab & Co. The financial services company alleges Spadoni paid no heed to their requests to return the funds as she ignored their calls, text messages and emails.
The lawsuit states that the company updated the software it uses to facilitate the transfer of assets about a month after Spadoni opened an account with them, the New Orleans Advocate reported. The company said they committed an error on February 23 after mistakenly depositing $1,205,619 into Spadoni’s brokerage account instead of $82.56.
Upon realizing the error, employees attempted reversing the transaction but to no avail. An effort to retrieve the money the next day was also unsuccessful as Spadoni had already transferred it from the said account. “She secreted it, and they were not able to access it,” Rivarde said.
Attempts by Schwab to get in touch with Spadoni to rectify the issue the subsequent weeks also proved futile as she neither picked up her phone nor replied to email or text messages. “By her conduct, Spadoni has made it clear she does not intend to return the mistakenly transferred funds to Schwab,” the lawsuit reportedly states.
Spadoni was later arrested after the financial institution reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigations revealed Spadoni splurged some of the cash on a house and a 2021 Hyundai Genesis luxury SUV valued between $48,000 and $70,000.
Rivarde said about 75% of the funds has been recovered so far. Schwab, in their lawsuit, also affirm Spadoni was bound by a contractual agreement to return the money as there’s a clause that states clients are to return funds back to the financial institution in cases of overpayment, the New Orleans Advocate reported.
“If someone accidentally puts an extra zero on a utility payment, they would want that money returned or credited to them. This is no different,” Rivarde said.
Spadoni is reportedly being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on a $50,000 bond.