Former UK quarterback charged in Harlan County with theft of thousands from banks

jwarren@herald-leader.comMay 28, 2014 

Former University of Kentucky quarterback Randy Jenkins has been charged in Harlan County with theft. Photo from the Harlan County Detention Center.

A former University of Kentucky quarterback has been charged in Harlan County with allegedly stealing more than $25,000 from two banks through withdrawals on closed accounts.

An indictment says Randy Jenkins withdrew $23,373.57 from a closed account at the Home Federal Bank of Harlan, and $4,901.40 from a closed account at The Bank of Harlan, according to the Harlan County Circuit Clerk's office. The withdrawals occurred in January and April of 2011, according to the indictment.

A Virginia native, Jenkins quarterbacked the UK football team in the 1980s under then Coach Jerry Claiborne.

One of the high points of his football career was throwing two touchdown passes as UK defeated Tennessee 21-10 at Commonwealth Stadium in 1981. Two years later, Jenkins led UK to the Hall of Fame Bowl, where the Wildcats lost to West Virginia.

The indictment against Jenkins was issued by a Harlan County grand jury April 7, according to the circuit clerk's office. He's charged with two counts of theft by deception.

Kentucky State trooper Mike Cornett, who investigated the case, said Jenkins was arrested by sheriff's deputies in Sullivan County, Tenn.; he lives in Mount Carmel, Tenn., Cornett said.

Jenkins, 53, was transported to Harlan County where he arrived at the jail Friday, jail officials said. Jenkins remained in jail Wednesday on a $20,000 full-cash bond, jail official said.

Cornett, who works out of the Harlan KSP post, said Wednesday that the charges against Jenkins center around Wildcat Construction, a company that Jenkins operated in Harlan County. The firm performed repair work for homeowners and other businesses, Cornett said.

An investigation began after complaints from the two Harlan banks about a "suspicious individual withdrawing money ... using counterfeit checks," according to a news release from the Harlan KSP post.

Police said Jenkins was on probation from similar charges in Virginia and Tennessee, according to the Harlan Daily Enterprise newspaper.

According to the agency's website, the Tennessee Board of Licensing Contractors revoked the license of a Jenkins' company, New Vision Restoration LLC, in 2011 and imposed a civil penalty of $519,000 against the firm.

New Vision restored buildings after fires or other catastrophic events, according to a hearing record. The board found the business took money for work that wasn't performed or completed, the transcript said.

In 2012, Jenkins was convicted of check fraud totaling about $11,000 in Scott County, Va., according to a report in the Times News newspaper in Kingsport, Tenn. He was given a three-year suspended sentence on condition that he submit to 10 months of home incarceration, the report said.

Jenkins expressed remorse during a sentencing hearing and told the court that failing business had led him to cash bad checks, the Tennessee newspaper reported.

Jim Warren (859) 231-3255

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