PHELPS COUNTY, Mo. – A Rolla, Missouri man is accused of racking up nearly $30,000 in debit card transactions on a card belonging to an elderly woman’s dead husband.
According to a probable cause statement obtained from the St. James Police Department, an employee at the Phelps County Bank contacted police to report several fraudulent transactions on a customer’s account.
Police contacted the account holder, who said someone had been using her dead husband’s debit card for the past year.
Bank records show 116 ATM withdrawals between Sept. 28, 2021 and Aug. 17, 2022, in the amount of $26,700, and an additional 73 purchases between Sept. 30, 2021 and Aug. 19, 2022, worth $2,521.17.
Investigators obtained surveillance images of the individual who made the ATM withdrawals, and the customer identified the individual as Jeremy Hawkins, a friend who lives with her.
Hawkins was taken into custody on Sept. 25, 2022.
Police claim Hawkins stated the woman’s dead husband gave him the debit card to make a purchase online before he passed away, but Hawkins could not recall what he purchased. Hawkins said he alone had access to the debit card and used it for home expenses, but admitted to using the money for paying restitution for prior felony charges.
The Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Hawkins with stealing $25,000 or more and fraudulent use of a credit/debit device. He remains jailed on a $75,000 bond.