Fruitcake Exec Ran Wild, Uncle Sam Says


DALLAS (CN) - A former fruitcake executive was charged Thursday with embezzling $16.6 million from his company and spending it on "43 luxury automobiles," furs, real estate and a Steinway grand piano, among other things.
     The federal grand jury indictment accuses Sandy Jenkins, 64, of Corsicana, of 10 counts of mail fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines for each count.
     Jenkins was corporate controller at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana from 1998 to June 2013.
     According to the indictment: "Jenkins caused approximately 888 fraudulent checks to be written on the bakery's account and mailed to Jenkins' personal creditors, resulting in losses to the bakery of approximately $16,649,786.91."
     The bakery fired him in June.
     "To keep the bakery's books in balance and further disguise his fraudulent activity, Jenkins created checks in the Bakery's accounting system purporting to go to an approved vendor in the same amounts as the checks to his personal creditors," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
     It added: "The checks to Jenkins's personal creditors were used to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included a house in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 43 luxury automobiles, frequent travel on private planes and a watch and jewelry collection worth approximately $3 million."
     Uncle Sam seeks forfeiture of more than $16.6 million, including real estate in Corsicana; 60 high-end watches, including watches by Rolex, Breitling, Patek Philippe and Breguet; jewelry including 50 necklaces, 35 bracelets, 57 rings and 26 earrings; collectable coins, silver dollars and gold coins; one gold bar; a Steinway piano; 596 bottles of wine; six guns; $6,598 in cash; 14 furs, 11 paintings, and 93 designer handbags.
     Collin Street Bakery, founded in 1896 by German immigrants, began its mail order business when members of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus asked for its cakes to be sent to family and friends in Europe. The bakery ships its fruitcakes and pecan cakes to 196 foreign countries, according to its website.
     Representatives from Collin Street Bakery did not immediately return requests for comment.
     Jenkins is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 19.
     Corsicana is 50 miles south of Dallas.