Mamtek CEO Charged With Five Felonies

Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole has been charged with five felonies for allegedly diverting bond money allocated to the proposed manufacturing plant in northern Missouri for personal use.

Cole was  charged on Tuesday with one count of theft of greater than $25,000 and four counts of fraud. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 55 years.

“Today, we have alleged that Mr. Cole deceived the city and the investors about the project and unlawfully profited from the investment by taking at least $700,000 from the bond money for his own personal use,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement released at a news conference in Moberly, according to The Associated Press.

Cole promised the Mamtek U.S. Inc. plant would make an artificial sweetener and bring 612 jobs to Moberly, according to Bloomberg, but the plant never opened and those jobs never materialized. The city of Moberly issued $39 million, more than five times the city’s annual budget,  in bond debt to pay for the plant, but Cole never made a single payment. The city was left on the hook for the debt. As a result its credit rating dropped from A- to CC.

Cole was significantly in debt and might have used some of the Moberly money to pay off his credit cards and mortgage, Bloomberg reported.

Cole also faces civil litigation. UMB bank is selling off Mamtek assets and suing him for fraud.

The announcement comes one year after Koster said his office was assisting the Randolph County prosecutor in determining if any civil or criminal laws were violated.

The state had offered more than $17 million worth of incentives, but nothing was paid because the deal fell apart before Mamtek could trigger the aid, according to The AP.

Related story: Koster Heading to Mamtek Site Tuesday

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