MOBERLY, Mo. (AP) — The former CEO of a failed artificial sweetener facility in Moberly is due in court for a preliminary hearing on charges of theft and securities fraud.

The hearing set to begin Thursday will determine whether the Missouri attorney general’s office has submitted enough evidence to put Bruce Cole on trial.

Cole was chairman and CEO of Mamtek U.S. when it received $39 million of industrial development bonds from the city of Moberly to build an artificial sweetener facility.

Gov. Jay Nixon had said Mamtek could eventually employ 600 people. But the company’s finances fell apart in 2011 before construction ever could be finished.

One of the charges alleges that Cole used some of the bond revenues to avoid foreclosure on his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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