Today is closing arguments for Paul Seelig — the owner of Great Specialty Bread Company. He’s accused of knowingly selling “gluteny” products as gluten free — and getting many people sick.
Friday he took the stand admitting he lied to investigators. According to WRAL TV, “When investigators went to Seelig’s Durham home, Seelig came to the door shirtless and claimed to be Jeff Gleason, an employee. The man who called himself Gleason, [Investigator Brett] Weed said, told investigators that Seelig had a heart attack, cancer and the flu and could not be reached,” according to WRAL’s report. Weed is an investigator with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Food & Drug Protection Division.
Then when Seelig took the stand, he admitted that story was a lie.
However, according to the News & Observer, he still maintained he didn’t knowingly sell gluten bread as gluten free. “Why would I go out and potentially put something in something that would make people sick?” the News & Observer reported that Seelig said in court.
Several gluten free customers testified during the trial that the bread made them sick, however, according to the News & Observer, there was one person who said they never got sick from his bread and considered it safe to eat.
With the case wrapping up, it will be interesting to see how it all ends. You can see WRAL’s complete report — including video of Seelig on the stand on Friday — just click here.
****Update: According to WRAL, Seelig was convicted Monday afternoon on 21 counts of fraud. He could get up to 17 years in prison. Thanks to Zach Becker of Gluten Free Raleigh for keeping us posted on Facebook!
****Update#2: Paul Seelig was sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud.