DALLAS (CN) – A former fruitcake executive pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzling $16.6 million he spent on hundreds of private jet trips and a fleet of luxury cars.
Sandy Jenkins, 65, of Corsicana, pleaded guilty Wednesday to mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and making a false statement to a financial institution. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the mail fraud charge, 10 years and $1 million for conspiracy and 30 years and $1.5 million for the false statements.
“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 indictment stated .
Jenkins worked as controller for the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana from 1998 to 2013. He was fired in June 2013 after the fraud was discovered. As part of his plea, Jenkins agreed to pay full restitution.
“He and his wife, Kay Jenkins, used that money to bankroll a lavish lifestyle that included a vacation home in Santa Fe, New Mexico (purchased for approximately $658,000); hundreds of watches and pieces of jewelry worth millions of dollars; numerous luxury automobiles; and more than 200 trips on a private jet,” federal prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.
“While this scheme was ongoing, both Sandy and Kay Jenkins were well aware that Sandy Jenkins earned approximately $50,000 per year at the Bakery, as reflected on their joint tax returns, and Kay Jenkins did not work outside the home.”
Jenkins also admitted that he stole more than $114,000 from the bakery’s petty-cash fund, prosecutors said.
As part of his plea, Jenkins will enter into a forfeiture judgment against him. Prosecutors seek the return of 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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.
Founded in 1896 by German immigrants, the bakery 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.
U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade is to sentence Jenkins on Sept. 10.
Kay Jenkins, 64, of Corsicana, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six counts of money laundering and aiding and abetting, and two counts of making a false statement to a financial institution. She is free on bond, awaiting her Aug. 25 trial.
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