Documentary on fruitcake fraud at Corsicana bakery has Fort Worth ties
There's a new documentary covering a famous scandal at a beloved Texas fruitcake company: Called Fruitcake Fraud, it's about the notorious case of husband-and-wife Sandy and Kay Jenkins, who embezzled more than $17 million from Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, and it debuts this week on the Discovery+ channel.
The film begins streaming Wednesday, December 1 on discovery+. You can see the trailer here, featuring interviews with principals including Bob McNutt, the president of the bakery, who cheerfully eats a slice of fruitcake on camera, as if to prove it can be done.
Collin Street Bakery is known the world over for its fruitcakes, with 10,000 to 20,000 orders per day during holiday season. But as a release notes, that fruitcake empire began crumbling in 2013 when an embezzlement fraud was discovered, right under the noses of the bakery employees.
The money was stolen by Sandy, who worked as an accountant at the company for a decade. According to government records, he and Kay blew it on trips on private jets, shopping sprees, and purchases of 38 vehicles, including a Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Bentley, and Porsche.
They almost single-handedly kept the NorthPark location of Neiman Marcus in business, spending $1.2 million, and earning themselves the nicknames "Fruitcake" and "Cupcake."
When the management at Collin Street Bakery began to notice a deficit, they hired a new accountant who uncovered Jenkins' multimillion-dollar scheme.
After the Jenkins were arrested, authorities recovered 532 luxury items, including 41 bracelets, 15 pairs of cufflinks, 21 pairs of earrings,16 furs, 61 handbags, 45 necklaces, 9 sets of pearls, 55 rings, and 98 watches, valued at $3.5 million; plus $580,754.90 in cash; plus a wine collection valued at $50,000; plus a Steinway electronic piano valued at $58,500.
From the release:
Featuring a cast of colorful characters and a story much nuttier than one of Collin Street Bakery’s fruitcakes, Fruitcake Fraud dives deep into the baffling case that left the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the good people of Corsicana scratching their heads in amazement. How was it possible for one man to embezzle millions for almost a decade without anyone having the faintest clue – especially in a small, tight knit community where everyone knows everyone’s business? Over the course of the 90-minute special, clues, luxury goods, stolen money, witness and investigator accounts, and local Corsicana gossip are pieced together to reveal a delectably twisted tale of greed and conspiracy… topped off with just a bit of sugar and small town flair.
"Fruitcake Fraud is not just about one of the most unexpected fraud cases to ever cross the desks of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office – it’s a testament to the folks at Collin Street Bakery that even after this massive fraud, they are still standing and brightening everyone’s holiday season with their iconic fruitcakes. If that doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will!" says Jason Sarlanis, President of Crime and Investigative Content. "We are so grateful to the wonderful people of Collin Street Bakery and the community of Corsicana who opened their doors to us and helped us shed light on this baffling case. Whether you like fruit cake or not – you’ll definitely enjoy this unbelievable true crime story."
Sandy Jenkins died in 2019 in a federal prison in Seagoville; Kay served five years probation.
Fruitcake Fraud director Cilia Aniskovich has directed, produced, developed, and consulted on numerous US & UK projects including How to Fix a Drug Scandal, which she co-produced, and Surviving Jeffrey Epstein on Lifetime, which she produced.
"I saw an article about the story and said, 'This can't be true,'" she says. "But it's a stranger-than-fiction tale that really did happen. The No. 1 question I get from people is, How do you make that much money selling fruitcake? But Collin Street has created a fruitcake empire."
She worked with Red Sanders, founder and president of Red Productions, a media company with offices in Fort Worth and Los Angeles, who are involved in making the feature film starring Will Ferrell in the role of Sandy Jenkins, whose production has been delayed by COVID-19.
Sanders served as Executive Producer on Fruitcake Fraud.
"When I first got in touch with Collin Street Bakery, they said, 'You've got to talk to Red,'" Aniskovich says. "He has family from Corsicana and he was an invaluable asset and partner on the ground. "I'm a New Yorker, and benefited greatly from having a Texan on our team to help logistically being so close by."
Fruitcake Fraud was produced for discovery+ by ITV America’s Good Caper Content in association with Dial Tone Films and Red Productions.