The former CEO of a company that announced it would open an artificial sweetener plant in a small north Missouri town, but never did, has pleaded guilty to three felony counts connected to the scandal.
In 2010, Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole persuaded city leaders in Moberly to issue $39 million in bonds to build the plant, which was to employ 600 people. Shortly afterward, the state’s Economic Development Department kicked in $17 million in tax credits for the project.
But the artificial sweetener plant never opened. Construction on the facility halted after Mamtek missed its first bond payment in September 2011. Moberly’s bond rating was downgraded as a result. In 2012, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed charges against Cole, including charges that he funneled some of the bond money intended for the plant to make payments on his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.