Posted: Sep 2, 2014 3:25 PM by Lee Anne Denyer, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Sep 2, 2014 11:03 PM
MOBERLY - The man charged with wrongfully receiving millions in municipal bonds from the City of Moberly pleaded guilty to felony stealing and fraud Tuesday.
Former Mamtek U.S. Inc CEO and chairman Bruce Cole appeared in a St. Charles courtroom Tuesday afternoon. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster attended the hearing and said at a press conference Cole would be sentenced to 5 to 7 years in prison for his actions with the company. Koster called it a "steep" sentence.
Police arrested Cole in September, 2012 in Orange County, California. In 2010, Cole promised his artificial sweetener plant would bring 600 jobs to mid-Missouri and new revenue to Moberly. A joint investigation by the Attorney General's office and Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman revealed Cole used $700,000 of financing for personal use, including making mortgage payments on his Beverley Hills home.
"Cole deceived the city and he deceived his investors," Koster said.
Koster said the investigation also revealed Cole created a fake company to hide his embezzlement, and he deliberately lied about the time line the facility would need to start operation and receiving revenue.
"By overstating Mamtek's abilities and concealing the projects true risk, Cole's acceptance of millions in investment dollars and the authority to collect tax credits amounted to stealing," Koster said.
Koster added that Cole's action took financing away from legitimate projects in the area. The city of Moberly is still working to recover from the issued bonds.
"The perfect resolution of the case would have been to get the 39 million dollars back for investors. That was not possible. The money was squandered in dozens and dozens of different avenues and the bankruptcy court is now looking at those issues. The 5 to 7 year sentence is the appropriate resolution to an important case here in Mid-Missouri," Koster said.
The Attorney General said Cole's crimes are a reminder to municipal governments involved in economic development issues that processes need to be in place to ensure they are not being taken advantage of. The city of Moberly is working to implement these types of polices.
City Manager Andrew Morris said the city council will hear proposals to implement debt management, economic development and due diligence policies. Morris said city leadership is working to restore the city's credit score, which dropped from an "A" to a "B" rating follow the Mamtek bond dispersal.
"It's not over yet," Morris said. "All we can do is to continue to watch our expenditures and undertake those steps, and we're going to continue to do that and council's been very, very supportive of that."
MFA Oil announced in December 2013 the company would purchase the vacant property. Tom May, spokesperson for MFA Oil, said he doesn't have an estimate as to the number of jobs the new facility will create, but that some operations will move from Columbia to Moberly. May said construction will begin this fall and take approximately 18 months to complete.
Cole is scheduled for sentencing November 3.
Posted 6:14 PM 11/25/2015 by Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY - The developers of a proposed shopping center off of Mission Drive asked the Cole County Commission for $800,000 to extend the road to the site. The Harvard Company, LLC is working to develop a site near Highway 179 that would include restaurants and retail stores among other (More)
Posted 1:08 PM 11/3/2015 by Collin Ruane & Emma Nicolas, KOMU 8 Reporters
BOONVILLE - It's almost that time of year again. Students across mid-Missouri will anxiously wait to see if they get any snow days this school year. But are students getting more days off for less snow?
To find the answer to that question, KOMU 8 News went through more than a decade worth (More)
Posted 12:02 PM 11/25/2015 by Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Cooking grease can cost homeowners money if it's improperly disposed of.
This holiday season, Missouri American Water is launching a state-wide campaign to "can the grease."
Instead of pouring cooking grease down the drain, the organization urged residents to put used (More)
Posted 3:49 PM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
MOBERLY - A Moberly clothing store held its grand reopening Wednesday night, two weeks after a fire damaged its previous building.
The Nov. 7 arson fire caused extensive smoke damage to Encore, a women's clothing shop.
Two other businesses closed due to the fire. Duval (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 1:53 PM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Daily Tribune announced on its website Wednesday that it’s Black Friday edition was too big.
The large amount of Black Friday ads prevented the Tribune from being able to package through its inserting equipment. Staff members had to package the paper by (More)
Posted 1:51 PM 11/25/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge heard testimony as he considers lifting the St. Louis Zoo policy that prohibits patrons from entering the zoo with guns.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty issued a temporary order on June 12 upholding the ban (More)
Posted 1:48 PM 11/25/2015 by Annisa Budiman, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Mizzou students in support for Planned Parenthood are struggling to start a conversation with MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley on the decision for Planned Parenthood to stop providing safe abortions.
Jordan Hoyt, a member of the group, said their effort to schedule (More)
Posted 1:11 PM 11/25/2015 by Kolbie Satterfield, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care’s new Low-Intervention Birthing Program welcomed its first baby on Monday Nov. 23. Deacon Markijohn was born to the first family that to use the new program.
The rooms at University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital allow (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 10:32 AM 11/25/2015 by Matt Johnson, KOMU 8 Content Manager
COLUMBIA - In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri CEO Laura McQuade addressed the news late Tuesday the Columbia clinic would no longer perform medication induced abortions. McQuade said the organization is considering legal action in (More)
Posted 11:55 AM 11/25/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri Police confirmed it gave documents regarding MU Assistant Professor Melissa Click to the Columbia City Prosecutor.
The Columbia City Prosecutor is reviewing the documents to determine if charges should be pressed against Click for actions during (More)