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Bread seller due in court Friday

Posted December 2, 2010
Updated December 3, 2010

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— A Durham bread company owner is expected in court on Friday on fraud charges.

Paul Evan Seelig owned the bread company, Great Specialty. He was arrested in February on accusations that he knowingly sold bread advertised as being gluten-free – even though tests showed the food as having high levels of the substance.

Seelig was later released from jail on a $100,000 bond.

In June, a Superior Court judge increased Seelig’s bond to $750,000 because he allegedly gave police false information in the murder case of state school board member Kathy Taft.

Judge Donald Stephens said Seelig gave police bad and misleading information that implicated an innocent person in the crime.

Seelig was being held in the Wake County jail on Thursday.

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  • sabol100 Dec 3, 2010

    Man, the bread seller is being held for a lot of dough...sorry, couldn't help myself. Yes, I know, this is a serious matter.

  • hallerobin Dec 3, 2010

    Yes, JAT, my thoughts exactly.

    I have celiac and luckily did not buy bread from this man. Consumption of gluten by people like me can have implications from the somewhat benign (mild cramping) to the severe (small bowel lymphoma).

    Because people with celiac are accustomed to having to pay significantly more for specialty products like these, and because more and more people are going gluten-free, either by choice or by medical necessity, it represents an opportunity for guys like Seelig to gain significantly by using cheaper, inappropriate products and charging a lot. Hopefully his sentence will deter potential frauds.

  • JAT Dec 3, 2010

    jlh - crack users know what they're getting. THe people who bought his bread thought they were getting one thing and ended up getting something that could have killed them. I'm sure the bond wasn't for that, it was probably more for false advertising or something, but I'd care more about a kid who got bad bread than a crack-head.

  • JAT Dec 3, 2010

    rebecca - OK, thanks. I was trying to figure out how the Taft case played into this. WRAL could have been a little more thorough.

  • rebeccagfernandez Dec 3, 2010

    His bond just went up to $1.5 million, as per the N&O article today. Initially his bail was at $100k because he had injured so many people (around 25, I think, including one child who ultimately required weekly IV iron supplementation and was anemic for months despite that, and another who had a full body rash and painful diarrhea for over a month, plus many adults who experience symptoms ranging from vomiting to severe stomach pain to permanent joint damage). He also screwed around with everyone, including his court-appointed attorney, and lied to the judge. He bonded out (only cost him around $10k).

    Then he tried to implicate an (innocent) former coworker as the murderer in the Kathy Taft case, to get himself out of the charges. That landed him back in jail and upped his bail to $750k.

    Then he dragged all the families and witnesses to court as if he was going to accept the plea bargain, for nothing. So now they've added the remaining 13 counts for 13 other victims and upped the bai

  • jlh4jdj Dec 3, 2010

    I understand the health concerns. My father-in-law has to have a gluten free diet. I just don't understand how this draws a high bond and crack dealers don't.

  • Milkman Dec 3, 2010

    For people with gluten sensitivity issues like Celiac disease this is about the same as selling bread baked with arsenic in it. And really, the only people who'd seek out gluten free products are doing it for these type reasons. I'm happy to see that this is taken seriously.

  • Glass Half Full Dec 3, 2010

    Thank you, WRAL, for naming the judge in this case!

  • RPD Dec 3, 2010

    Because when you sell bread to someone who has Celiac Disease as Gluten free and they ingest it, it essentially shortens their life each time.

  • jlh4jdj Dec 3, 2010

    Not to defend this guy. I just have to wonder how he has a 100 grand bond for selling bad bread? I guess he should have sold crack instead you get a 10,000 dollar bond for that.