Judge orders monitoring of ex-CEO accused of defrauding Moberly, Mo.

A Missouri judge on Monday ordered the former head of a failed artificial sweetener plant in Moberly to wear a GPS electronic monitoring device while he awaits trial on felony fraud and forgery charges.

St. Charles County Circuit Judge Daniel Pelikan ordered ex-Mamtek CEO Bruce Cole to wear the device while he is at home, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.

Cole, 65, of Beverly Hills, Calif., was under electronic monitoring when he was freed on bond in March but has been using a radio-and-telephone-based system that only tells officials when he’s at home or not at home.

Cole is under house arrest in his home state of California. His bond was reduced from $500,000 to $100,000 in March.

“I am shocked that someone can make a $100,000 bond and still have a public defender,” Pelikan said. “And the fact that we are allowing you to live in California is a double shock.”

Also during Monday’s hearing, Pelikan tentatively scheduled the trial for February. It was the judge’s first time seeing Cole after receiving the case on a change of venue from Randolph County.

The Mamtek project was financed with $39 million in bonds issued by the city of Moberly’s Industrial Development Authority. The project collapsed after Cole’s company missed a bond payment in August 2011.

In addition to criminal charges, Cole faces a civil lawsuit from the federal Securities and Exchange Commission and a bankruptcy suit filed by UMB Bank, the bondholders’ trustee.