Wayward plastics inventor and entrepreneur Carl W. Cooke is back in the United States and awaiting two separate trials.
British authorities in October deported Cooke from England to Grand Rapids, Mich. He faces a federal count of giving false statements to a federal agency and three counts of wire fraud related to a clothing business he operated in Benton Harbor, Mich., according to U.S. Deputy Attorney Julie Woods.
A U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids set a Jan. 13 trial date for Cooke, who still is in federal custody and has not requested a bail hearing, Woods said.
A county court in Elkhart, Ind., set a June 16, 1998, court date for Cooke. He faces six felony counts of theft related to a bankrupt injection molding venture there.
Cooke has failed in a number of attempts to set up production of a type of child-resistant bottle closure he patented.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service sold Cooke's patent (No. 4,739,890) July 24 as part of bankruptcy proceedings, which still are active, according to an IRS investigator involved in the case.
The company that bought rights to the patent for $1,620, Pharmaceutical & Medical Plastics Inc. of Michigan, has had an interest in Cooke's patent since its inception in 1994. An early business plan developed by the firm touted Cooke's patent, although it does not list Cooke as a principal in the company.
PMPI's plan said Cooke's patent, one of at least six he filed
on plastic safety closures, was valued at $375 million.