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July 29, 2013

$17 million stolen from famous fruitcake bakery, suit claims

CORSICANA, Texas — The former comptroller at a Texas bakery known worldwide for its deluxe fruitcake -- ordered by celebrities and royalty alike -- is accused of stealing nearly $17 million from the bakery's accounts.

The FBI on Wednesday searched the home of Sandy Jenkins, who managed the finances of Collin Street Bakery until three weeks ago. Federal agents would not confirm the reason for the search, but a civil lawsuit filed July 3 accuses Jenkins of using bakery funds to pay his personal bills.

The suit claims that Jenkins used company checks to pay credit card companies, car dealerships, and even local charities more than $16.8 million since 2005. An account clerk discovered the alleged theft in June and alerted the bakery's chief financial officer, Scott Holloman.

"Hollomon asked Jenkins why he had done what he had done and expressed his sense of personal betrayal," the suit states. "Jenkins stated he was ruined and would lose his wife and daughter. He continued by saying 'But if I did this I guess I deserve it.'"

Bob McNutt, president of Collin Street Bakery, confirmed Wednesday that Jenkins was no longer with the company, but would not elaborate.

"There is an ongoing investigation, and I'm really not in a position to comment on their investigation," McNutt said. "Certainly, we are fully cooperative with any and everything that relates to the investigation."

At Jenkins' home Wednesday, a half-dozen federal agents loaded a van with boxes of items seized from the house. Two vehicles, a Mercedes and a Lexus, were towed from the property.

Collin Street Bakery was founded in 1896 and is famous for its fruitcakes, which it ships to all 50 states and 195 countries around the globe. The bakery famously turned away an order from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.

Famous clients have included Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White, former Major League Baseball pitcher and Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan, and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The bakery's two locations in Corsicana, Texas, are major local employers and tourist attractions.

Details for this story were provided by the Corsicana Daily Sun in Corsicana, Texas.

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