The little town of Corsicana, Texas is very popular in the eyes of Hollywood. Earlier this year Netflix shared the inspiring story of the Navarro College cheerleaders in the hit, Cheer and now the little city is heading back into the spotlight thanks to the Collin Street Bakery, Will Ferrell, and Laura Dern. The duo is set to star in Fruitcake, a film based on the true story of Sandy and Kay Jenkins and the Collin Street Bakery Scandal.
The Collin Street Bakery Scandal
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Founded in 1896 by August Wiederman, an immigrant from Germany, Collin Street Bakery is noted as one of the most popular fruitcake bakeries in the United States. Once a favorite of Will Rogers and Enrico Caruso, the world-famous DeLuxe fruitcake (along with their Texas Pecan Cakes and cheesecakes) today are sold mostly through mail-order to every country in the world (except Cuba and Iran) as Christmas gifts.
But the baked good bakery is also known for another thing: a scandal of famous fruitcake proportions. From 1998 to 2013 Sandy Jenkins served as the Corporate Controller for the Bakery. At first, it was little dips into the petty cash fund. Then when Sandy bought a new gold Lexus sedan with tan leather interior, he crafted a $20,000 check payable to his credit card signed electronically by Bob McNutt, the owner of the Collin Street Bakery. To cover his tracks he made up a check payable to a legitimate bakery vendor and never mailed it.
Once Sandy had figured out the system, he and Kay were spending up to "$98,000 a month on their credit card, which Sandy then paid with Collin Street Bakery checks" according to Texas Monthly. They indulged in a brand new lavish lifestyle, remodeling their kitchen, joining the country club, and throwing decadent parties. He bought Rolex watches worth his yearly salary and during a trip to Santa Fe, the couple bought a second home.
Coworkers would question his new clothes and he always responded they were from Walmart. In reality, they were $600 shirts from Armani and Hermès. When asked, the couple would always share that they received the money from an inheritance. The years went by and the purchases got bigger; "A $7,200 cellphone, a $40,000 horsehair mattress, a $58,000 Steinway" along with 223 trips on private jets and 38 purchased vehicles.
Then Semetric, a new accounting hire, changed everything on Thursday, June 20, 2013, when she noticed a check made out to Capital One. She brought it to Sandy who tried to remain calm and brush her off, however, Semetric was curious and started poking around the accounting system where she found $400,000 worth of discrepancies in the books. In total, Sandy Jenkins had embezzled $114,342.04 in cash and $16,649,786.91 in checks from the Bakery.
On September 16, 2015, Sandy Jenkins and his wife Kay Jenkins were sentenced on felony convictions of embezzlement of approximately $16 million from the Bakery. Sandy was sentenced 120 months in federal prison and Kay Jenkins to five years' probation along with 100 hours of community service.
Fruitcake, The Movie
The movie, directed by Max Winkler, is set to begin production in early 2020 with Will Ferrell playing Sandy and Laura Dern taking the role of Kay.