FBI agents on Monday arrested the former Collin Street Bakery accountant accused of embezzling more than $16 million from the renowned fruitcake maker.
Sandy Jenkins was taken into custody on a federal criminal complaint charging him with mail fraud. Jenkins, 64, has appeared before a judge and waived his detention hearings.
The arrest comes about three weeks after the FBI first searched the Coriscana man’s home, where he lives with his wife Kay. On July 24, agents hauled off a driveway full of pricy cars and took boxes of records. The FBI then changed his locks.
On July 31, Corisicana police responded to a burglary call at Jenkins’ home. When they arrived, however, they found that Jenkins was the one who broke into it. Police could not arrest him because the FBI had not filed charges, only changed his locks.
That changed Monday, the feds say. Jenkins was the corporate accountant of the Coriscana-based Collin Street Bakery, world famous for its fruitcakes and cookies. In June, an assistant discovered a company check made out to an unfamiliar bank.
This piqued her interest.
She kept investigating, eventually finding that hundreds of thousands of dollars were being diverted to pay for an extravagant lifestyle led by Jenkins and his wife, according to the complaint. The feds say their lifestyle dotted with cars worth $200,000 and vacations at exotic locales.
Eventually, federal documents say, the assistant found that more than $16 million had been siphoned from the company from 2005 to June 21, 2013, the day Jenkins was fired.
“In particular, Jenkins caused Collin Street Bakery checks to be written to his personal creditors and then manipulated Collin Street Bakery’s computerized accounting system to show that the checks had been voided,” wrote FBI spokeswoman Kathy Colvin in a release.
The FBI says Jenkins bought a house in Santa Fe, N.M. They say he had 43 “luxury automobiles.” When he took a vacation, the feds say he frequently flew in private planes. He also apparently had a $3 million jewelry collection.
“The government’s investigation shows that Jenkins caused 888 fraudulent checks to be sent to his personal creditors, resulting in approximately $16.65 million in losses to the bakery,” Colvin writes.
According to the criminal complaint, the Corsicana Police Department passed the case off to the FBI on June 26. Five days prior, Robert McNutt, the president of Collin Street Bakery, confronted Jenkins alongside his vice president of finance and information services and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
They showed Jenkins the voided checks. Upon seeing them, he “looked like a ghost.”
He’s accused of paying more than $11 million of Collin Street Bakery's money to American Express. Citi Card received $1.9 million, the affidavit says. Neiman Marcus ended up with nearly $1.12 million.
The mail fraud, the complaint alleges, came from Jenkins’ propensity to shore up his debts by using the United States Postal Service. The document says Jenkins ordered a company accountant to overnight payments to his creditors.
“Collin Street Bakery provided this information to the FBI Dallas Division, along with the corresponding bank statement showing that the fraudulent check had been cashed and the image of the cashed check paid to Jenkins’ creditors for his personal benefit,” the affidavit reads.
The government now has 30 days to present the case to a grand jury. If indicted and convicted, Jenkins could face 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.