Swindler of Missouri Town Pleads Guilty in Sweetener Scam

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announces felony charges against former Mamtek U.S. CEO Bruce Cole outside the failed business in Moberly, Mo., on Sept. 18, 2012 Photograph by Kit Doyle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP Photo

In 2010 a Beverly Hills lawyer named Bruce Cole promised to bring economic opportunity to the small Missouri town of Moberly. He claimed to run a thriving business manufacturing the artificial sweetener sucralose in China and said he wanted to move his operations to America because of the premium a “made in the U.S.” product could claim overseas. Cole wanted to build a state-of-the-art facility that would operate 24 hours a day and eventually employ 612 people–all he needed was financing.

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