The former CEO of Mamtek, Bruce Cole, will serve between five and seven years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts for convincing investors to purchase $39-million in bonds for a sweetener factory in Moberly that was never completed.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Cole pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of securities fraud and one count of theft. He avoids the trial that was set to begin in December. He will be sentenced November 3.
With the Mamtek project, Cole promised to bring up to 600 jobs to Moberly. City officials agreed to issue $39-million in bonds and the state promised more than $17-million in tax credits and other incentives. Governor Jay Nixon and former governor Bob Holden, now chairman of the Midwest U.S.-China Association, appeared in Moberly when the project was announced.
Cole claimed Mamtek already had a factory in China, as well as private capital of $8-million and the ability to have the factory in production within six months. It also claimed to have a patented process for making sucralose.
Mamtek actually owned no patents and owned interest in a factory in China that never produced sucralose on a commercial scale.
Construction on the factory halted in August, 2011 when the bond funds ran out. Mamtek went into bankruptcy in December 2011.