Patent attorney testifies about failed Mo. factory

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Associated Press

Posted on January 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An attorney who vouched for the legitimacy of a Chinese artificial sweetener factory says he became aware of concerns about the Chinese site before a deal closed to build a similar plant in rural Missouri.

Patent attorney Michael Wise, of Los Angeles, testified by video conference Thursday before a Missouri House committee looking into the failure of Mamtek U.S. Inc., which was offered state and local incentives to open a factory in Moberly. Construction on the factory halted this fall after Mamtek missed a payment on $39 million of bonds issued by Moberly.

Wise said he witnessed the production of sucralose at a Mamtek plant in Fujian Province, China, in 2007 and 2009 but became aware the Chinese government had concerns about the site before the Moberly deal was announced.

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