- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Five construction companies owed more than $2 million for work on the failed Mamtek factory in Moberly will receive less than 15 cents on the dollar under a court-ordered distribution of proceeds from the sale of the property.

Circuit Judge Scott Hayes on Tuesday split $584,990 between UMB Bank and the five contractors. UMB is the trustee for $39 million in Moberly Industrial Development Authority bonds issued for the plant.

Septagon Construction-Columbia, which filed the lawsuit in 2011, was owed almost $1.4 million but will receive $193,814, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1O6ojlo ). The second-largest amount, $47,013, went to Stockman Construction of Jefferson City, which estimated that it has paid more than $90,000 in legal bills to collect the debt. The city of Moberly was dismissed from the lawsuit in February, but Stockman is expected to appeal that ruling.

The five contractors - Septagon, Stockman, Faith Technologies of Menasha, Wisconsin, SIHI Pumps of Ontario, Canada, and Doing Steel of Springfield - will receive 13.95 percent of the amount they are owed.

The case is the latest of more than a dozen civil actions arising from the failed project to build an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly.

When the factory plans were announced in 2010, Gov. Jay Nixon and local officials said the plant for the low-calorie sweetener sucralose would bring 600 jobs to the central Missouri town.

Missouri lawmakers authorized up to $17.6 million in tax credits and other incentives for the plant, although no credits were issued. The Moberly Industrial Development Authority issued $39 million in bonds in 2010 to pay for the plant’s construction. But Mamtek failed to make a $3.2 million bond payment and the partially built factory was abandoned.

Bruce Cole, a businessman from Beverly Hills, California, who proposed the project, is serving a seven-year prison sentence for fraud and theft of funds.

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This story has been altered to correct the spelling of UMB Bank, which had been misspelled UMB Ban.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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