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      Plea expected from former Mamtek CEO

      A plea hearing is set for this week for a former Mamtek CEO accused of committing fraud in a failed effort to build an artificial sweetener plant in central Missouri.

      The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Bruce Cole is charged with one count of theft and four counts of securities fraud. Attorney General Chris Koster has accused Cole of diverting at least $700,000 from a bond fund established to finance the plant and using the money to forestall foreclosure of his Beverly Hills home.

      Cole's case is being heard in St. Charles on a change of venue and had been scheduled for trial in December. But a 1:30 p.m. Tuesday plea hearing was put on Judge Daniel Pelikan's docket late Friday.

      Cole's attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.