Federal judge declines to step down in Mamtek suit

The site of the failed artificial sweetener company in Moberly, Mo.

A federal judge in Missouri has refused to remove herself from a lawsuit involving a failed sweetener company whose leaders were aggressively questioned by the judge's lawmaker husband.

Attorneys for investment bank Morgan Keegan wanted U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey to step aside from a lawsuit filed by an Alabama investor in the failed plant in Moberly.

The Columbia Tribune
reports John Cromeans is seeking restitution of $50,000 he spent on bonds issued by the Moberly Industrial Development Authority for Mamtek U.S. Inc. and marketed by Morgan Keegan.

The bank's attorneys cited Rep. Chris Kelly's strong opinion during legislative hearings that Morgan Keegan and its law firm had failed to protect investors.

Laughrey said in her ruling that her husband will not influence her decisions in the case.

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