Woman arrested after refusing to give back $1.2 million bank accidentally wired to her account

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Gustaf Kilander
·3 min read
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A sign is shown during the final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at the Phoenix Country Club on November 08, 2020. (Getty Images)
A sign is shown during the final round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at the Phoenix Country Club on November 08, 2020. (Getty Images)

A 911 dispatcher has been arrested after she refused to return $1.2m that was accidentally wired into her account, authorities say.

A Louisiana woman who worked in a Sheriff's office for over four years was fired and arrested last week. Financial services company Charles Schwab is suing her, blaming the wiring-mishap on a "software enhancement".

Charles Schwab mistakenly deposited the money into 33-year-old Kelyn Spadoni's brokerage account, local outlet Nola.com reported.

She was booked with theft valued at more than $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds, according to Sheriff's office spokesperson Captain Jason Rivarde.

Ms Spadoni is accused of quickly moving the money to another account and using portions of the funds to buy a house and a new car, according to authorities.

Captain Rivarde told Nola.com: "It's not her money," despite that it was wired to her.

"She has no legal claim to that money. Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error," he said.

Ms Spadoni is being sued by Charles Schwab in federal court. They have accused her of avoiding their calls, texts, and emails.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday 6 April in the US District Court in New Orleans. It states that Ms Spadoni opened a Schwab account in January and that the money was wired into her account about a month later after an "enhancement" was installed in the software that's used to transfer assets.

Court records said that Charles Schwab intended to send $82.56 into a brokerage account owned by Ms Spadoni on 23 February but instead sent $1,205,619.

Schwab staff tried to stop or reclaim the transfer but were unable to do so. The next day, they sent a reclaim request to the institution that handles the account where the money had been sent but they were rejected, receiving a notification that stated: "CASH NOT AVAILABLE".

Captain Rivarde said this was a result of Ms Spadoni already having moved the money out of the account. "She secreted it, and they were not able to access it," he said.

Schwab tried to reach Ms Spadoni for weeks, to no avail. The lawsuit said: "By her conduct, Spadoni has made it clear she does not intend to return the mistakenly transferred funds to Schwab."

Insider reported that Schwab said that they once managed to reach her office but that they were told that she was unable to come to the phone.

The Sheriff's office opened a criminal investigation after being contacted by Schwab lawyers. Detectives concluded that she had used some of the funds to buy a house and a 2021 Hyundai Genesis SUV, worth between $48,000 and $70,000.

Captain Rivarde told Nola.com that detectives and Schwab lawyers have been able to get back about 75 per cent of the lost cash.

Schwab noted in its lawsuit that an agreement is included in Ms Spadoni's account contract that states that a client is required to return any overpayment of funds.

Captain Rivarde said: "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."

Court records said that Ms Spadoni was held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna in place of a bond set at $50,000.

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