Mamtek CEO sentenced to 7 years for theft, fraud

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) _ The former chief of a failed Missouri sweetener venture has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing more than $700,000 from the project for his own personal use.

Bruce Cole of California pleaded guilty in September to one count of felony stealing and two counts of securities fraud. He was sentenced Monday to seven years on each count, to run concurrently.

The 67-year-old was chief executive officer of Mamtek U.S. Inc. and persuaded the city of Moberly in 2010 to issue $39 million in bonds for a sweetener plant he said would employ 600. The state authorized up to $17 million in incentives, but those were never paid.

Prosecutors say Cole used $281,000 of the stolen money to stop the foreclosure of his Beverly Hills, California, home.

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