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Former Mamtek CEO in Court

***UPDATE 10 A.M.***The former CEO of a failed artificial sweetener facility waived a preliminary hearing Thursday at which Missouri prosecutors were to have laid out evidence of theft and fraud charges against him, but he will be back in court next week to face a formal arraignment.Bruce Cole appeared at a Moberly courthouse looking the role of a dapper businessman in a dark suit and white shirt buttoned up to his neck. Yet he is accused of perpetrating a massive fraud by persuading a rural town to issue $39 million in bonds and the state to authorize up to $17 million of incentives to fund an artificial sweetener facility that collapsed financially before construction ever finished.Cole, who was chairman and CEO of Mamtek U.S., said nothing in court Thursday as his attorney waived his right to a preliminary hearing and argued unsuccessfully that Cole’s $500,000 bond should be reduced. Associate Circuit Judge Mason Gebhardt scheduled Cole’s arraignment for Jan. 23.On Thursday, Cole’s attorney renewed a request to lower Cole’s bond while arguing that his incarceration was hampering his defense of the civil suits. But the prosecution said Cole’s increasingly dire legal battles provided good reason to keep his bond in place.The judge kept the bond as is and took no action on a separate request by Legg to allow Cole to use a DVD player in jail to meet his continuing education requirements as an attorney in California. The judge encouraged Cole’s attorney to simply work out the DVD request with the sheriff.***ORIGINAL STORY***Bruce Cole, the former CEO of Mamtek, will appear in a Randolph County courtroom Thursday and Friday for a preliminary hearing.Cole is charged with theft and securities fraud related to the failed plan to build a sweetener plant in Moberly. Prosecutors allege Cole took money from the project for personal use.Thursday’s hearing is to determine whether there’s enough evidence to send Cole’s case to trial.

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