Woman arrested for refusing to return £870k mistakenly deposited in her account

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A woman has been charged with theft after allegedly refusing to give back $1.2 million (£870,000) that was mistakenly deposited into her bank account.

Instead of returning the money she spent it on a new house and car, a lawsuit claims.

Kelyn Spadoni, 33, was arrested in New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday on charges of theft valued over $25,000, bank fraud and illegal transmission of monetary funds.

She was fired from her job as a 911 dispatcher after her arrest.

Police said a clerical error had caused financial services corporation Charles Schwab to deposit $1,205,619 (£876,081) into Spadoni's account in February.

The transfer was meant to total just $82.56 (£60).

When the bank attempted to reclaim the money, the request was rejected because the money was not available, according to court documents.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said Spadoni had moved the ill-gotten funds into a different account before using some of it to buy a new house and a 2021 Hyundai Genesis.

Sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Jason Rivarde said although the money was put into her account, "it's not her money".

"She has no legal claim to that money," he said.

"Even if it was put in there by mistake. It was an accounting error."

Charles Schwab & Co. sued Spadoni in federal court on Tuesday.

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The company had tried to contact her several times to have the transferred funds returned but were unsuccessful, Capt. Rivarde said.

In its lawsuit the company argued that Spadoni's account contract with Schwab 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," Capt. Rivarde explained.

"This is no different."

So far approximately 75% of the money has been recovered.

Spadoni was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Centre on Thursday after posting $50,000 bond.

She had worked at the Sheriff's Office 911 centre for more than four years.

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