What would you do if a million dollars magically appeared in your bank account?
For one woman in Louisiana that fantastical moral conundrum improbably became a reality – and she appears to have chosen poorly.
Kelyn Spadoni, a now former police dispatcher, was arrested last week after she allegedly refused to return $1.2 million that had been accidentally deposited into her account.
The 33-year-old was charged Wednesday with theft valued over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds, NOLA.com reported.
Spadoni, who lives in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey, was simultaneously fired from her role at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, where she had worked for four and a half years.
On Feb. 23, she was due to receive a transfer of $82.56 from Charles Schwab; instead, thanks to a clerical error, the financial services company deposited $1,205,619 in her account, according to court records.
Although the company was swift to realize its mistake, Spadoni is accused of moving the funds just as speedily to another account to ensure they couldn’t be retrieved.
She then allegedly used some of the erroneously-gotten gains to splash out on a new house and car, authorities said.
After multiple efforts to contact Spadoni proved fruitless, Charles Schwab filed a federal lawsuit against her.
The company argues in the suit that Spadoni is bound by the terms of her contract to return any overpayment of funds in full.
“She has no legal claim to that money,” Capt. Jason Rivarde, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, told NOLA.com. “Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error.”
“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.
Thus far, detectives have helped the company recover around 75% of the money, according to Rivarde.
Spadoni was being held Thursday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in lieu of a $50,000 bond, court records show.