911 Dispatcher Refuses to Return $1.2 Million Paid to Her by Mistake, Sheriff's Office Says

A 911 dispatcher from Louisiana is accused of refusing to return more than $1.2 million that was accidentally deposited into her brokerage account, authorities have said.

Kelyn Spadoni, 33, of Harvey, has left her role at Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office after her arrest on Wednesday on charges of theft valued over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds, nola.com reported.

According to the news outlet, Spadoni opened a brokerage account with the Charles Schwab & Co., a financial services company, in January.

The following month, a clerical error led the company to mistakenly deposit $1,205,619 into Spadoni's account when it only meant to transfer around $82, court records say.

Spadoni allegedly moved the funds to another account immediately, according to authorities, and used some of the money to buy a new car and a house. Employees attempted to reclaim the money, but could not.

ATM machine
Stock photo. A banking customer withdraws money from a ATM machine in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Robert Alexander/Getty Images

That was because Spadoni had already moved the money to another account, Capt. Jason Rivarde, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, told nola.com.

Rivarde said that although the money was put into Spadoni's account, "it's not her money" and she "has no legal claim to that money."

Charles Schwab & Co. is suing Spadoni in federal court.

According to the lawsuit, the company attempted to contact Spadoni by phone, email and through text messages several times to have the money returned without success, according to nola.com.

"By her conduct, Spadoni has made it clear she does not intend to return the mistakenly transferred funds to Schwab," the company said in the lawsuit.

The company notes in the lawsuit that Spadoni's account contract includes an agreement that if a client if overpaid, they are 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. This is no different," Rivarde added.

The company contacted the sheriff's office and a criminal investigation was launched.

Investigators then learned Spadoni used some of the money to buy a house and a 2021 Hyundai Genesis, a sports utility vehicle that can cost over $70,000.

Rivarde said around 75 percent of the funds have been recovered so far.

Spadoni is being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on a $50,000 bond. She had worked at the sheriff's office 911 center for four and a half years, Rivarde said.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Charles Schwab & Co have been contacted for additional comment.