CORSICANA (February 28, 2014) Former Collin Street Bakery comptroller Sandy Jenkins, 64, who’s accused of stealing nearly $17 million from the landmark Corsicana business over the course of eight years, has indicated he intends to plead guilty and has agreed to pay restitution, court documents show.
Jenkins has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 10-count federal indictment handed up in September 2013 charging mail fraud.
Court documents say Jenkins orchestrated a scheme to defraud Collin Street Bakery by writing almost 900 fraudulent checks from 2005 through June 2013.
Jenkins was fired on June 21, 2013, after company officials learned of the embezzlement scheme.
Jenkins remains in custody in the U.S. Prison at Seagoville where he is awaiting trial, which is set for April 7, but according to court documents, his lawyers and prosecutors are working to hammer out a plea deal.
U.S. District Judge Edward Kinceade has approved a motion entitled Pre-Sentence Payment Toward Restitution that allows Jenkins to begin to pay restitution on the theft even before he’s convicted or pleads guilty.
In addition, Kinceade allowed Jenkins and his wife to sell their house through a broker rather than lose it through forfeiture, although the proceeds of the sale are encumbered by the federal government until sentencing.
The four-bedroom house went on the market last Friday valued at $199,500.
Keller Williams real estate agent Denise Harper is selling the home and said there is already a pending contract on the house.
Federal sentencing guidelines say that upon conviction, the court "must order the defendant to make restitution in the full amount of the victim's losses."
The same document says: "Jenkins acknowledges his intent to plead guilty, and while parties negotiate the terms and conditions of a plea agreement, Jenkins wishes to immediately begin payment toward the criminal financial obligations to be imposed at the time of sentencing."
Federal agents have seized almost all of Jenkins' property including two homes, multiple luxury cars and more than 500 bottles of wine valued at several thousand dollars, court documents showed.
Jenkins, who was arrested in August 2013, was the bakery’s comptroller from February 1998 through June 21, 2013, wrote 888 fraudulent checks on the company’s accounts to pay personal bills including an American Express tab totaling more than $11 million, $1.2 million in charges at Neiman Marcus, and a Citi Card tab of more than $1.9 million, an affidavit says.
The theft, which cost the bakery about $16.65 million, funded what the affidavit described as “a lavish lifestyle that included houses in Corsicana, Texas and Santa Fe, N.M.; approximately 43 luxury automobile purchases for (Jenkins), his wife and his daughter; frequent travel on private planes around the United States and abroad; and a watch-jewelry collection that, based on preliminary estimates,” has approximately $3 million in value.”
Jenkins spent about $3.2 million to book 232 private charter flights from 2005 to 2013 from North Dallas Aviation, the affidavit says, and made frequent trips not only to Santa Fe, but also to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Aspen, Colo., the Caribbean and Napa, Calif.
Jenkins is a Dallas Baptist University graduate with a degree in business administration who went to work for the bakery in January 1998, according to a profile on Linkedin.
He graduated from Wortham High School in 1967, according to his profile on MyLife.
The nearly 120-year-old business opened a 10,000-square-foot bakery shop in 2009 in Bellmead just off Interstate 35 in its first effort to expand beyond Corsicana.
(Sara Humphrey contributed to this report)