Gretna, LA – A former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatcher was arrested after she refused to return $1.2 million that was accidentally deposited into her brokerage account by Charles Schwab.
The incident occurred on Feb. 23 when Charles Schwab accidentally transferred $1.2 million into the Fidelity Brokerage Services account of Kelyn Spadoni instead of the $82.56 it intended, WSVN reported.
The sheriff’s department said that when the bank realized the mistake, they tried to reclaim the funds.
Records showed bank employees immediately tried to recover the money but couldn’t, NOLA.com reported.
It turned out that Spadoni had already transferred the money, WSVN reported.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Captain Jason Rivarde also tried repeatedly to reach Spadoni to have the money returned but his efforts were unsuccessful, WSVN reported.
“She secreted it, and they were not able to access it,” Capt. Rivarde told NOLA.com.
Authorities said the now-former dispatcher used the ill-gotten gains to go on a massive spending spree.
Detectives found Spadoni bought a new 2021 Hyundai Genesis SUV and a house for herself, NOLA.com reported.
“It’s not her money,” Capt. Rivarde said. “She has no legal claim to that money. Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error.”
Charles Schwab reported the theft to the sheriff’s department and the agency opened up a criminal investigation into the matter, NOLA.com 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,” Capt. Rivarde said.
Spadoni was arrested and charged with theft over $25,000, bank fraud, and illegal transmission of monetary funds, NOLA.com reported.
Then she was fired by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Capt. Rivarde said Spadoni had worked for the agency’s 911 center for about four-and-a-half years, WSVN reported.
About 75 percent of the money has been recouped by the brokerage company so far.
Charles Schwab & Co. filed a lawsuit against Spadoni in federal court on Tuesday that alleged she violated an agreement in her account contract that said she was required to repay the full amount if ever she was overpaid, WSVN reported.
“By her conduct, Spadoni has made it clear she does not intend to return the mistakenly transferred funds to Schwab,” the lawsuit said, according to NOLA.com.
Court records showed the former dispatcher was being held in Gretna at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in lieu of a $50,000 bond.