ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP)- A Missouri judge has rejected former Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole’s request to reduce his bond and release him from house arrest before Cole’s trial for theft and fraud connected to a failed plan to build an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly.
Cole participated in a hearing in St. Charles County Court via telephone from his home in California, where he was allowed to stay until his June 16 trial in Missouri on five felonies. He is charged with theft for allegedly diverting money from a $39 million bond fund issued by the city of Moberly for his own use. He also faces four counts for allegedly making false statements to induce investors to buy the bonds.
Moberly and its industrial development agency issued the bonds in July 2010 to finance construction of a Mamtek plant, which was expected to create 600 jobs. The project never materialized and Mamtek is now in bankruptcy.
Cole’s attorney was asking to have his $100,000 bond reduced to $10,000 cash and to be able to remove his GPS monitoring, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
St. Charles County Circuit Judge Daniel Pelkian denied both the requests Monday, Nanci Gonder, spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Koster, said in an email to the newspaper.
After being charged on Sept. 18, 2012, Cole was released from Randolph County Jail after posting $10,000 cash. Cole returned to the Los Angeles area, where his address is sealed in court records and his mailing address is a post office box.
Cole’s attorney, Raymond Legg, told Pelkian that the monitoring was costing Cole $1,000 per month and was making it difficult for Cole to find work, although he is allowed to leave home to search for a job.
Sean Smith, an assistant attorney general who is special prosecutor for Randolph County, said Cole’s costs for the GPS monitoring had been reduced to $450 per month. He said Cole also should be considered a flight risk because of his overseas business ties, his lack of ties to Missouri and because he has said he believes the charges against him are a conspiracy by the state of Missouri, Smith wrote in his response.
“From the information provided, it is impossible to know if Defendant has actively sought employment or simply sat on his hands,” Smith wrote.
The case was moved from Randolph County to St. Charles on a change of venue.
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