MFA To Purchase Moberly Sweetener Facility At Heart Of $39 Million Bond Failure

Posted 5 months ago

By John P Tretbar

MFA Oil Company is purchasing the sweetener factory at the heart of a $39 million securities fraud case in Moberly, Missouri.

MFA has a contract to purchase the 33 acre commercial site that was formerly built to house a sucralose production facility.

A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the property. A closing date has not been set.

Bruce Cole

Bruce Cole

State and federal authorities have charged the man they believe caused the municipal bond default in Moberly. The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Bruce Cole, the former Chairman and CEO of Mamtek, charging him with fraud related to the offer and sale of municipal bonds.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Cole executed a scheme to defraud investors in the July 2010 sale of $39 million of bonds backed by the city.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed five counts of theft and securities fraud against Cole. Koster says Cole took at least $700,000 from the bond proceeds for his own personal use.

After a change if venue, the case was moved to St Charles County.

A jury trial is scheduled in February.

The commercial property being purchased by MFA has approximately 33 acres of land and includes a 28,000 foot partially constructed warehouse building as well as a large canopy structure. The property will take significant investment to finish development to be ready for operations.

“This property provides MFA Oil with some strategic opportunities,” says Mark Fenner, chief operating officer of MFA Oil. “The site has convenient access to 63 Highway and will allow us to upgrade some of our current support operations and explore future business opportunities.

“We look forward to partnering with the city of Moberly to turn this property into economic engine that it was originally designed to be.”