Former Mamtek CEO in custody in Missouri

Oct. 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM
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COLUMBIA, Mo., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Bruce Cole, former chief executive officer of artificial sweeter firm Mamtek U.S., was back in Missouri to face charges of theft and fraud, authorities said.

Cole was being held in lieu of $500,000 bond. He is charged with submitting inventories from a made-up company, Ramwell Industrial Inc., to withdraw $6.6 million from a bond fund.

Allegedly, Cole transferred $700,000 of the first $4.2 million invoice to a bank account in his wife's name. Some of the funds were said to be used to keep Cole's Beverley Hills, Calif., home from foreclosure.

Cole has also been accused of lying to investors about the health of the company and the ingredients of the artificial sweetener, the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune reported Monday.

Cole, who is also being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is charged with lying about whether the sweetener, sucralose, would include and toxic substances.

The company was expected to create 612 jobs in Moberly, Mo.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the $39 million project in 2010, at which point the company was granted tax breaks from the state valued at $17.6 million if it hit certain financial targets and submitted the right paperwork, neither of which happened, the newspaper said.

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