Monday, April 11, 2011

Guilty: Gluten-Free Trial


This evening, a jury found Paul Seelig guilty of 21 counts of what the press is reporting as "fraud" (I'm guessing it's obtaining property by false pretenses (a class H felony)) for selling bread under the false pretense that it was gluten-free.

It appears that he will be sentenced in the morning. Each count carries a possible term of nearly a year in prison.

Does this indicate that prosecutors may seek out these kind of harsh punishments in other areas of false advertising? Even corporate false advertising?? For example, McDonald's selling a "bowlful of wholesome" ... it's oatmeal that has more sugar than a snicker's bar...

4 comments:

bail bonds las vegas news said...

That is sad that he could face 21 years in prison under these guidelines, but I think that is a stretch. Some minimal prison time is no doubt in order though.

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Tim said...

He was actually found guilty of 23 counts of "receiving property under false pretenses" and after the verdicts were read, he pled guilty to the sentence modifying charge of "aggravating factors" because he had befriended the victims and visited their homes in the commission of the crimes.

Beyond the fraud (and maybe adding into the "aggravating factors" claim by the state), he caused at least 21 health challenged people to experience permanent, semi-permanent or temporary health issues --- (Almost all had Celiac Disease and/or Gluten intolerance and all told him so before being induced to buy the products.)
Victims' digestive systems were affected causing pre-mature labor and delivery, anemia, mal-nutrition, mucus in their stools, diarrhea, violent stomach pain, vomiting, etc.

The judge combined some charges during sentencing so that he received 10 years for 22 charges, but left the charge involving the early labor and delivery victim stand alone, making an 11th year. He was given credit for 313 days already served.

Was this a "sad" or "harsh" sentence? Not for fraud which resulted in the health issues that I heard about during the 10 days of the trial.

Do a web search on "Celiac Disease" or see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/

T.H., Juror, Paul Evan Selig trial

Victor Eremita said...

Thanks for sharing, T.H.!

Victor Eremita said...

Thanks for sharing, T.H.!