***UPDATE 3:20 P.M.***The judge says Bruce Cole is ineligible for a public defender because Cole’s current income is too high, however, the court still appointed him one.Attorney Raymond Legg told the court it would cost Cole about $50,000 to retain a lawyer. Because Cole does not have the money readily available, the court did appoint Legg as Cole’s public defender.Legg also recommended that Cole’s bond be lowered to no more than $20,000 form its current half a million dollars. The judge denied that request, but has ordered a bond investigation. The bond hearing will take place on December 5th.Cole’s preliminary hearing will continue on January 17th and 18th, 2013.***ORIGINAL STORY***The former CEO of Mamtek appeared in a Moberly courtroom Monday morning.Bruce Cole was arraigned on four charges of felony stealing and securities fraud.During the arraignment, Cole asked the court to review his bond amount. The former business leader is charged with stealing millions of dollars, but says he has no money right now and in order to feed his family, he needs to have his bond reduced.Prosecutors in the case requested Cole’s bond to be set at $500,000 cash only, but Cole believes the high bond is just a stunt to keep him in jail.”This has all been done for political purposes and to use me as a scapegoat,” Cole told the courtroom.Cole says two months ago, a lawyer reached out to the Attorney General on his behalf to discuss the investigation. He says he was willing to cooperate and even surrender, but the Attorney General’s office never called back.”And I believe, based on the coordinated actions between the Attorney General’s office and the prosecutor here and the trustee in the bankruptcy, that the whole idea is to deny me the right to put on an effective defense,” said Cole.Prosecutors think the businessman is a flight risk and the high bond amount will keep him from running. Cole, however, says he has known about the impending indictment and if he wanted to run, he would have had ample time to do so.Cole says his current financial situation does not make running from the law an option.”My sole income right now is social security and living off loans,” Cole said. “My sole ability to earn any money is in California, and not in Missouri.”The judge ordered a bond investigation to decide whether Cole’s bond amount can be lowered. Prosecutors estimate that will take about 30 days.Cole is scheduled to appear in court again at 3 p.m. Monday to find out if he will get a public defender or if he will have to hire his own lawyer to handle his case.
BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION
ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.
Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here
If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.