Sandy Jenkins (right) in an undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
CORSICANA (August 14, 2013)—An affidavit released Wednesday details what authorities call the extensive embezzlement scheme through which former Collin Street Bakery comptroller Sandy Jenkins, 64, stole nearly $17 million from the landmark Corsicana business over the course of eight years.
Jenkins, who was arrested Monday on a warrant charging mail fraud, appeared before a U.S. magistrate Tuesday afternoon, waived a hearing and was ordered to remain in custody.
Jenkins, who 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.
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, who wrote all accounts payable checks and managed the bakery’s petty cash, manipulated the company’s computerized accounting system to show the checks he wrote to his personal creditors had been voided, the affidavit said.
Jenkins was fired on June 21 after company officials learned of the embezzlement scheme.
He went home where he and his wife gathered up $62,500 in cash and two bags filled primarily with watches and jewelry and fled to Austin where Jenkins placed the money and valuables in a safe his daughter controlled, the affidavit said.
Then Jenkins and his wife went to Santa Fe, where they stayed for several weeks, returning to Austin in late July, the affidavit said.
FBI agents spent the day on July 24 searching Jenkins’ home in Corsicana and when Jenkins learned of the search, he retrieved the cash and jewelry from the safe in Austin, the affidavit said.
The cash was used to hire a lawyer and the jewelry and other valuables, weighing 40 to 60 pounds, were put in an insulated grocery bag, which Jenkins gave to his daughter, the affidavit said.
The daughter’s attorney, however, advised her to return the items to Jenkins and she did, the affidavit said.
Jenkins took the bag from his daughter’s home the next day and no one has seen it since, the affidavit said.
But later that day, an off-duty University of Texas police officer found sixteen watches worth more than $250,000, a gold bar and two gold coins in and around Austin’s downtown Lady Bird Lake, some of which have been linked to Jenkins, the affidavit said.
The alleged scheme surfaced on June 20 when an accounting clerk told the company’s vice president of finance, Scott Hollomon, she feared for her life because of irregularities she had discovered, a lawsuit filed by the bakery alleges.
She told Hollomon that she had found a check payable to Capital One Bank, which was charged to the account for Corsicana’s postmaster in the company's computerized accounting system, the lawsuit says.
She told Hollomon that when she asked Jenkins about the apparent discrepancy, he told her it was simply an error, but she said the explanation didn’t make sense.
She told Hollomon she searched the check register report and found sixteen cleared checks to payees not reflected in the computerized system, the lawsuit says.
In a meeting the next day with Hollonon and the bakery’s chief operating officer, Larry Jenkins, he was pressed on whether he took the money, the lawsuit says.
In response he asked what would happen if he admitted the theft and was told that the company would press charges, the suit says.
He refused to answer the question and was terminated, the suit says.
But later, in private conversation with Hollomon, whom the suit identifies as a close friend, he “stated he was ruined and would lose his wife and daughter,” Hollomon said in a sworn affidavit.
“He also said, ‘But if I did this I guess I deserve it,’” Hollomon said in the affidavit.
The company filed a complaint with Coriscana police the same day.
but wouldn’t say whether the search was related to the alleged theft.
Neighbors said agents removed a number of documents from the house and seized two luxury cars during the daylong search.
The bakery filed its lawsuit on June 28, alleging that Jenkins stole more than $16.8 million from the company and seeking to freeze Jenkins’ accounts and to halt any sale of his assets.
A state district judge issued a temporary restraining order freezing Jenkins’ assets and later extended it.
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 117-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.