What Happened To The Collin Street Bakery?

As The Great Fruitcake Recycling Project notes, Johnny Carson once famously quipped, "The worst gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other." This comical explanation makes perfect sense: The confection is ubiquitous this time of year, but no one seems to admit actually liking it.

In fact, there is more than one fruitcake, as the staff at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, will gladly tell you. As the company proudly notes on its website, it's been baking the Yuletide treat for 125 years, and in that century and a quarter, it has produced more than one. In addition to being possibly the largest single supplier of made-to-order fruitcakes in the U.S., the bakery also has the distinction of having been the victim of a serious crime, with an employee skimming over $10 million dollars off the company's profits and living a lavish lifestyle the entire time.

The Collin Street Bakery's comptroller stole $16 million

According to the New York Daily News, back in 1998, the Collin Street Bakery hired Sandy Jenkins to manage the books, providing him with the generous, if modest, salary of $50,000 — right about in range for a white-collar job of this type. However, over the next 15 years, Jenkins and his wife, Kay, did not live like a couple living on the low end of the upper-middle-class income bracket. Rather, they spent so prolifically that they even got nicknames around town: "Fruitcake" for Sandy and "Cupcake" for Kay. 

Why nobody asked any questions about their lifestyle for a decade and a half remains an unanswered question to this day. And what's more, their profligate spending was obvious. Rather than get an oil change when the time was due, the couple would just buy a new car — 38 in 15 years. They also spent over $1 million at a department store, only giving up when there was nothing left to buy. Of course, Jenkins was bankrolling his lifestyle with baker profits, cooking the books, and paying his own bills with company checks. Somehow, he managed to keep the scam going until 2013, when he was finally caught. In 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years and ordered to repay his former employer.