The Mamtek plant was supposed to bring 600 jobs to Missouri, but a state audit found that like its sweetener, Mamtek's plans were artificial.
Wrap: Auditor Tom Schweich's office found the Department of Economic Development did not act diligently to ensure Mamtek was deserving of nearly $18 million in state incentives.
|Description: "You have to make sure the entity you are doing business with is a viable entity. It's run by people who are reputable, who have experience, and who have the financing to deliver."|
According to Schweich's audit, the department should consider stricter guidelines for start-up companies applying for incentives.
He said a credit check, a third-party analysis, and proof of equity are practices that could help in the future.
A department spokesman was unavailable for comment. However, the department said in a written response in the audit that it believed it acted diligently enough.
From the state capitol, I'm Nick Thompson
An audit released today suggests state officials could have better evaluated the credibility of Moberly's bankrupted sweetener plant.
Wrap: State Auditor Tom Schwiech found the Divison of Business and Community Services failed to perform adequate due diligence. Schweich says due diligence is a set of common practices used to evaluate a business' credibility.
|Description: "You have an independent person verify, that they actually have these patents, that they really do have a plant in China, and that they do have money in the bank and that's what due diligence is."|
But Schewich's office found the department did not verify enough to justify giving Mamtek nearly $18 million in state incentives to provide 600 jobs to Missourians.
The department said in a written reaction in the audit they performed substantial due diligence in approving the Mamtek project.
From the state Capitol, I'm Nick Thompson.