Mamtek CEO charged with theft, securities fraud

MOBERLY, Mo. (AP) -- The CEO of a failed artificial sweetener company has been charged with theft and securities fraud in Missouri.

State Attorney General Chris Koster announced the charges Tuesday against Bruce Cole, who was chairman and CEO of Mamtek U.S.

The company had received $39 million in bonds from the city of Moberly and authorization for $17 million of state incentives to build an artificial sweetener factory that would eventually employ more than 600 people. But construction was halted last year after Mamtek missed a bond payment.

The charges allege Cole routed $700,000 from Mamtek bonds to his wife to make a mortgage payment and avoid foreclosure on their Beverly Hills, Calif., home.

The four securities fraud charges allege Cole failed to tell the full truth about Mamtek's operations.