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Beverly Hills Man Dupes Missouri City, Gets Charged With Securities Fraud and Theft

Bruce Cole received $39 million in municipal bonds to build a factory that was never completed and allegedly used some of the money to save his Beverly Hills home from foreclosure.

In 2010, Beverly Hills lawyer and resident Bruce Cole received $39 million in municipal bonds from the city of Moberly, MO, to build a factory that was never completed. By the summer of 2011 Cole's company, Mamtek U.S., had defaulted on its bond payments.

As Businessweek reports, with the factory incomplete and the promised jobs for Moberly residents nonexistent, Cole skipped town. But on Tuesday, he was arrested for securities fraud and theft relating to the failed business venture.

According to Businessweek:

Cole had exaggerated his company's performance and prospects and seemed to have taken some of the bond money to keep his Beverly Hills home from being sold in foreclosure proceedings. [Missouri] Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement that Cole instructed a bookkeeper for Mamtek U.S. to wire $700,000 to his wife, Nanette, and that she used part of that to pay off their mortgage.
...the charge of stealing is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The four charges of securities fraud carry a potential sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine on each count.

Cole's bond was set at $500,000. In June, he sold his North Elm Drive home for about $5.8 million, Businessweek reports.

To read the Businessweek article in full, click here.

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