By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
On Wednesday, Kay Jenkins filed for divorce from her husband Sandy Jenkins in the Navarro County Court at Law. They’ve been married 41 years.
The Daily Sun doesn’t typically report on divorces, but Sandy Jenkins is accused of stealing $17 million from his former employer, the Collin Street Bakery, where he worked from 1997 until June 21 of this year, when he was fired.
According to the divorce petition, Kay stopped living with Sandy on July 28, four days after their Corsicana home was searched by the FBI. It would also have been three days after Sandy is alleged by the FBI of hiding an estimated 40 pounds of jewelry and gold from the rest of his family. Sandy Jenkins was arrested Monday by the FBI.
Kay Jenkins is asking the court to grant her the bulk of their estate because, among other things, her husband committed “actual fraud.”
“Respondent has committed fraud on the community estate,” the petition states, asking that the court reestablish their shared assets to their previous value before Sandy committed fraud, and that the court split the value fairly between them.
Most of the petition is pretty standard stuff, according to Robert York, a local divorce attorney who’s not representing either party in the case.
“All the stuff she’s asking for in this petition is what the court orders anyway,” York said. “It’s mandatory policy.”
As well, the grounds for divorce in the petition — conflict of personalities, and cruel treatment, are also fairly common in any divorce, York said.
What’s not so typical is the allegation that Sandy committed fraud.
Under the division of community property portion, Kay asks for the bulk of the estate because the breakup was his fault and he can theoretically make more money in the future, standard fare in a divorce, but the division of community property list that ends with “actual fraud committed by spouse,” is unusual, York said.
“But when you’ve got fraud, that’s something a little different,” he said. “She’s alleging he’s done something with community assets that’s depriving her, and she wants it back.”
The FBI claims that on July 25 Sandy Jenkins walked out of his daughter’s Austin apartment carrying a bag of jewelry and valuables weighing between 40 and 60 pounds. Some of the items, including 16 watches, a gold bar and two gold coins, were found along an Austin hike and bike trail, where they’d been squirreled away. The insulated shopping bag of jewelry has not been seen since.
Kay Jenkins also asks that the court declare her property as hers alone. The civil case against Jenkins, filed by the bakery on July 3, has frozen most of the couple’s financial assets, and the bakery is seeking the return of more than $16 million. A temporary restraining order on the Jenkinses forbids them from selling anything of value. On July 24 and Aug. 12, the FBI raided the Jenkins’ Corsicana home. The first time, they hauled away a considerable amount of assets. The second time, they took the piano while Jenkins waited at a neighbor’s house during the more than five-hour search of his home.
A divorce won’t affect what state law calls the husband/wife privilege, which is the ability of one spouse to testify against another in court. A wife can choose to testify against a husband, for example, divorced or not.
County Court at Law Judge Amanda Putman signed the temporary restraining order at 3 p.m. Wednesday, but a hearing on the order will take place at 9 a.m. Aug. 27. Sandy Jenkins is ordered to appear for that hearing. He remains in the custody of the FBI in Dallas.
“It’s just a pleading, there’s nothing proven or anything,” York pointed out. “Of course, there may not be any community estate to divide up between these two folks.”
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