Is it possible to steal over $16 million from a bakery?
Well, yes. Sandy Jenkins, controller of Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, did just that, making off with more than just the fruitcakes.
How was the money used?
- $11 million on a Black American Express card
- $1.2 million at Neiman Marcus in Dallas
- 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 (having an approximate value of $3.5 million)
- Wine collection (having an approximate value of $50,000)
- Steinway electronic piano (having a value of $58,500)
- 223 trips on private jets (primarily Santa Fe, New Mexico; Aspen, Colorado; and Napa, California, among other places), with a total cost that exceeded $3.3 million
- 38 vehicles, including many Lexus automobiles, a Mercedes Benz, a Bentley, and a Porsche
- And more…
How the money was stolen
Jenkins would print a check to his personal credit card company, for example, but would void the check in the accounting system. Then, he would generate a second check for the same amount to a legitimate vendor, but he would not mail the second check. Jenkins would mail the first check to his credit card company. The result: Jenkins’ personal credit card was paid, but the general ledger reflected a payment to an appropriate vendor.
No one was comparing the cleared check payees to the accounting system.
Someone other than those who create checks should reconcile the bank statements to the general ledger. As they do so, they should compare the cleared check payees to the vendor name in the accounting system.
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