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‘Fruit Pie Fraud’ on Discovery+, a documentary about how a popular fruitcake parlor raked in $16 million

Fruitcake: You either love it or hate it. It is a sweet, thick cake, often with gummy candies inside and on top. Apparently, the most famous fruitcake in the world is the round one made by Collin Street Bakery, of Corsicana, Texas. They’ve been doing it since 1896, but they almost went out of business, though sales remained steady and strong through the late 00s and early 10s. The story of where the money went is fundamental. base of Discover + . documentary Fruitcake cheat.

Opening scene: Bob McNutt, owner of Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, TX, enjoys his bakery’s famous fruitcake. He has a napkin tucked into his shirt collar. “Uh, it’s great,” he stretched. “Best in the world.”

Gist: Cheat cake is a special documentary about how the bakery, who has been making fruit cakes out of red tin for more than 125 years and shipping them all over the world, has stolen US$16 million within eight years.

Director Celia Aniskovich interviews the bakery’s executives and employees, as well as some of the more knowledgeable citizens of Corsicana, an old oil town with lots of ancient coins and a difficult social hierarchy. understand. She also spoke with Christine Edson, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation. Through these interviews, we learn about the history of the bakery and the fact that it generates approximately $30 million in revenue each year. But it seems the bakery didn’t make any money from 2005 to 2013, despite steady sales.

A young accountant, Semetric Walker, is tasked with finding where the money is missing; She finds a check written by the company’s controller, Sandy Jenkins, a modest man earning $50,000 a year, deposited in a bank the bakery doesn’t do business with. It was soon discovered that Jenkins had embezzled nearly $17 million from the bakery over the course of eight years.

But the story goes much further than that. When the FBI investigated Jenkins and his wife Faye, they discovered that the couple had taken money and lavish spending, on jewelry and watches, in cars and private jet travel, and gone. Stay at a motel in Santa Fe. Despite the couple’s fanfare, the red flags had never been raised by anyone at the bakery in all these years. Edson and her colleagues traced the pair to Austin, where for some reason they left dozens of watches and gold bars (!) at a lake near the city.

Cheat cake
Photo: explore +

What shows will it remind you of? Cheat cake maybe an episode of Netflix Dirty money. As it happened, this story was featured as a 2017 episode in the CNBC documentary American Greed.

Our Take: Cheat cake somehow felt both rushed and jostled, despite the relatively short 98-minute run. It felt rushed because it seemed to cast a shadow over why Jenkins and his wife decided to steal all that money, and why Jenkins ended up killing himself at the end of a ten-year federal sentence without he had to admit for this crime (Faye was given 5 years of probation, never admitting that she knew where all the money was coming from).

We’ll want to hear more of that story, along with how a man making $50k a year can parade around in expensive cars and expensive watches, go on lavish vacations and not raise the red flag. It seems that McNutt and the other bakery executives are shown very little introspection. How have they not noticed for years that the bakery is losing money, and their own operator continues to operate despite logic? Do people think he inherited it? Is it something else?

That’s not what we got, it’s a people’s look at the history of fruitcake in Collin Street, and the chatty nature of Corsicana citizens, which is not exciting. But we can feel Aniskovich straining to keep the show’s tone consistent. Yes, it’s a fruitcake bakery (obviously delicious ones; they blame Johnny Carson’s constant fruitcake jokes for spoiling the image of the thick holiday pastry item. solid). But $16 million is no joke, and neither is how the Jenkinses took it and did the opposite of what we learned about hiding stolen money. Break and other similar programs – and they almost got rid of it.

We’d love to know more about how Jenkins bets the system the family-oriented company has set up for their accounting and how it’s changing. Oops, we’d even like to know if Walker – who is now the bakery operator, although that’s not mentioned – was rewarded for spotting the problem. Less popular content and more factual facts could have made the pacing of the particular show a little more consistent.

Gender and Skin: Lots of pictures of people actually enjoying the fruitcake, but that’s about it.

Farewell shot: McNutt says people will say when they see this particular thing, “How have I never heard of that?” But they’ll also say, “How can a fruitcake be so delicious? Maybe I’ll have to order one.”

Sleeper Star: We like that Janet Jenkins, the Corsicana Daily Sun reporter who covered the case, was the only one to say the fruitcake was “really sweet”. Looks like everyone else who took a bite called it the best thing they’ve ever brushed their lips against. Just let the journalist tell the story.

Most Pilot-y routes: What “Johnny Carson makes everyone hate fruitcake” could be a whole documentary, because we call BS on that point. It’s a dense, sweet cake with marshmallow fruit on it (and sometimes inside)! We think people hated it before Johnny started joking about it.

Our call: INSTRUCTIONS IT. Cheat cake It may make you wonder how an entire $30 million business was able to dissipate in such a long time and so much money, but the story of how Jenkins was caught and how he was caught. Whether me and his wife spend their unwarranted money is interesting enough to get through that.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting, and technology, but he’s not kidding: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and others.

Current Cheat cake When exploring +

https://decider.com/2021/12/01/fruitcake-fraud-discovery-plus-review/ Stream it or skip it?

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