Sandy Jenkins hid Rolex watches in the air conditioning vents of his Third Avenue home. He and his wife, Kay, had private planes fly into the Corsicana airport to whisk them off to Aspen, Santa Fe and Napa Valley. They paid for nearly everything with their black American Express card, which had an annual fee of $2,500 but no charge limits. Between 2005 and 2013, they charged more than $11 million with American Express.
During that time span, Sandy was making about $50,000 a year as a middle-management number-cruncher at the Collin Street Bakery and allegedly embezzling about $2 million a year on top of his salary.
When the FBI finally came for him, about a month after he was fired from the company, Sandy took a large insulated Whole Foods grocery bag, filled it with jewels and expensive watches and took it to hide at his daughter’s apartment in Austin. When her lawyer warned her to return it to her father, she did. Sandy then took it and threw it into a Lady Bird Lake in Austin, hoping to hide the evidence of his crimes.
All those facts and more were listed in a “resume of fact,” signed by Jenkins and his lawyer April 25, and filed in federal court April 29. Under a plea agreement signed that same day, Jenkins will admit to committing three crimes, and in return the court will limit the punishment he’ll get.
He also had to surrender all the stuff he and his wife bought with the money he allegedly stole.
If a judge accepts the plea bargain, it will become public record that Sandy Jenkins stole at least $16,649,786 from his former employer, the Collin Street Bakery. The resume of fact also implicates Jenkins’ wife, Kay, in knowing that the money was stolen, although he kept her in the dark about how he was doing it.
The two of them coordinated their lies, and fought over purchases, like a Bentley luxury automobile, that the other thought was too flashy for Corsicana and would give their secrets away, Sandy Jenkins claims.
According to the resume of fact, Sandy told Kay the money came from the Fishers, a couple that did business with the bakery. Several times, Kay asked Sandy if he’d get in trouble over “the Fisher money.” Sandy told her he’d get in trouble with the IRS because they weren’t reporting the income. However, he also told her not to bring it up in front of any other bakery employees. “Kay Jenkins further knew that if the money was coming from the Fishers, then the money was essentially a kickback and was not legitimate income,” the resume states.
If asked about their lavish lifestyle, Sandy coached Kay to say it was from his “contract work,” and to say that the private jet belonged to his cousin.
“Sandy admits he used this excuse over a hundred times in front of Kay Jenkins with others and that Kay Jenkins knew that his cousin did not have a private jet or the financial means to obtain a private jet,” the resume states.
To help hide their income from the neighbors, Kay bought the same model car in the same color multiple times so people wouldn’t realize how often she was getting a new car. On one occasion, she bought a two-seater convertible Lexus in midnight blue, but took it back because it wasn’t peacock blue.
When trying to get a mortgage for their new $658,000 Santa Fe vacation home, Sandy told the bank he made $25,000 a month. Sandy’s actual income from the bakery never went higher than $50,000 a year. Sandy told Kay they were going to lie, and she signed the papers anyway.
They also talked about at least one possible future. “On at least one occasion, Kay Jenkins asked Sandy Jenkins what would happen to their financial situation if he died. Sandy Jenkins stated that the money would stop if he died,” according to the resume.
Under the plea bargain, Jenkins’ punishment would be limited to 60 years in prison or less, a $300 fine and forfeiture of the ill-gotten gains of his crimes, and restitution if he pleads guilty to three of the 26 charges. Jenkins could have faced 200 years in prison just for the 10 mail fraud charges alone. Instead, he is offering to plead guilty to the mail fraud, the conspiracy to commit money laundering, and lying on his mortgage papers.
The federal judge will still have to sign off on the plea agreement and set the sentence for Jenkins. In March, Jenkins’ May trial date was pushed back to August. If the judge agrees to the bargain, Jenkins will not have a criminal trial, but he will still face other legal challenges. Kay Jenkins has filed for divorce alleging, among other things, that he committed fraud, and the Collin Street Bakery has sued Sandy Jenkins in civil court for everything he owns of any value.
He’s already signed over most everything he owns, including both houses and all the luxury cars. An estate sale was held last month for their household goods with proceeds going to the bakery.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.