Paul Seelig Found Guilty of Selling Fake Gluten-Free Bread Gets 11 Years
After many years of unexplained medical issues, I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002.Â The first couple of years were a rough road traveled, but I am feeling better than I ever have.Â It is important that I share what I have learned over the years with others and to do my part to help raise awareness of celiac disease.
Paul Seelig Arrest Photo
Celiac.com 04/12/2011 - Paul Seelig was found guilty today of 23 counts of obtaining property by false pretense after a two-week trial in Durham, NC. The jury found that he illegally represented baked goods as gluten-free, but they actually contained gluten. Mr. Seelig received an 11 year prison sentence for his crimes, which included the sickening of more than two dozen customers, one of whom had a premature delivery that was possibly caused by her involuntary gluten consumption.
Seelig's company, Great Specialty Products, purchased regular gluten-containing items from companies in New Jersey such as Costco, and then repackaged them in his home kitchen and sold them as "gluten-free" at the NC State Fair, various street fairs and via home delivery. Seelig claimed that his baked items were homemade in his company's 150,000-square-foot commercial kitchen, and that his company raised its own grains on its 400-acre farm. High gluten levels were detected by both customers and investigators in Seelig's supposedly gluten-free bread, even though he claimed that he tested his bread weekly for gluten and found none. Mr. Seelig could not produce any of his test results at trial.
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