A Louisiana woman working as a 911 dispatcher for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is accused of refusing to return more than $1.2 million mistakenly deposited into her brokerage account, authorities said.
Kelyn Spadoni, 33, of Harvey, was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft valued over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds, sheriff’s office spokesperson Jason Rivarde told NOLA.com. Spadoni has been a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office for four-and-a-half years, according to NOLA.com. She was fired from her job after arrest, the website reported.
According to authorities, Charles Schwab & Co. had mistakenly deposited the money into Spadoni’s brokerage account, WVUE reported. Spadoni is being sued in federal court by the brokerage firm, accusing her of avoiding their calls, text messages and emailed attempts to recover the money, NOLA.com reported.
“It’s not her money. She has no legal claim to that money,” Rivarde told the website. “Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error.” According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans, Spadoni opened an account with Schwab in January.
About a month later, the company installed an “enhancement” to the software used to transfer assets, NOLA.com reported. On Feb. 23, 2021, Schwab intended to transfer $82.56 into a Fidelity Brokerage Services account owned by Spadoni. But instead, the company transferred $1,205,619, according to court records. Staffers with the company immediately tried to stop or reclaim the transfer, but were unable to, NOLA.com reported.
When Schwab attempted to reclaim the money, the company’s request was rejected because the money was not available. WVUE reported. “She secreted it, and they were not able to access it,” Rivarde told NOLA.com. Schwab attorneys contacted the sheriff’s office, which opened a criminal investigation.
Detectives determined that Spadoni used some of the money to buy a house and a 2021 Hyundai Genesis sport utility vehicle that could cost as much as $70,000, Rivarde said.
According to court records, Schwab argued that Spadoni’s account contract with the company includes an agreement that if a client receives an overpayment of funds, the client is required to return the full amount.
“If someone accidentally puts an extra zero on a utility payment, they would want that money returned or credited to them,” Rivarde told NOLA.com. “This is no different.” So far, 75% of the money has been recovered, WVUE reported. Spadoni is being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, the television station reported. Bail was set at $50,000.