Insider testifies on Mamtek, cites concerns before the deal was closed

Jan 20, 2012

A patent attorney who vouched for a Chinese artificial sweetener factory has testified that he became aware of concerns about the Chinese site before a deal closed to finance the construction of a similar plant in Moberly.

Los Angeles attorney Michael Wise testified yesterday by video conference after being subpoenaed by a special Missouri House committee investigating the failure of Mamtek U.S. Incorporated, which had been offered state and local incentives to open a factory in Moberly.

Construction on the artificial sweetener plant was halted this fall after Mamtek missed a payment to Moberly, which had issued $39 million-dollars in bonds for the project. - Moberly has since said it will default on the bonds.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission and Missouri attorney general have both launched investigations into Mamtek.

Meanwhile, Missouri lawmakers have been holding hearings aimed at determining whether state, local and private-sector officials exercised due diligence in screening the company, which had been promoted by Governor Jay Nixon as a project that would create more than 600 jobs.