Arkansas man racks up $25K in debt on mother-in-law’s credit cards, assumed she would ‘die soon’

Posted at 9:16 PM, Jul 23, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A Fayetteville man reportedly racked up more than $25,000 in debt after stealing his elderly mother-in-law’s credit cards.

Randy Phipps, 56, was arrested Monday and charged with elder abuse.

When confronted about the issue by the woman’s son, Phipps said he “assumed (she) would die soon and ran her cards up knowing he would not be responsible for the payments once she passed away,” according to an arrest report.

Phipps’ 86-year-old mother-in-law, who filed the report with Fayetteville police, said she had given her daughter financial power over her – but not access to her credit cards – according to the report.

She said the agreement was to have her daughter and Phipps pay her expenses with a bank card, but nothing else. Police describe the woman as being in poor health and being in and out of the hospital over the last six years.

The financial discrepancies came to light last year when she turned over financial power of attorney to her son. He found several checks made out to cash and a large amount of money missing from his mother’s credit card accounts.

Phipps was asked to pay back the money from the cards, which stood at $25,050 — not including interest on the cards — as of July.

Phipps was being held Tuesday at the Washington County Detention Center on a $1,500 bond.

He’s due in court August 23.