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Indictment of Blue Bell CEO to Stand


Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western Texas District ruled that the indictment against Paul Kruse, formerly the CEO of Blue Bell Creamery should stand.  Kruse claimed expiry of the statute of limitations and charges were dismissed on June 16th for "lack of subject matter jurisdiction".  The dismissal was based on a technicality in that Kruse did not waive his right to be indicted by a Grand Jury. Subsequently a Grand Jury indictment was unsealed on October 20th reintroducing the charges of conspiracy and fraud relating to outbreaks of listeriosis during 2015. 


The Court ruled that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic constituted an extraordinary circumstance that warranted the application of equitable tolling to the statute of limitations.

Paul Kruse ex-CEO
Blue Bell Creamery


It is a matter of record that Blue Bell Creamery pleaded guilty in May to two counts of distributing adulterated food products and paid criminal penalties totaling $17.5 million in addition to $2.1 million relating to False Claims Act allegations. Kruse faces charges of conspiracy and fraud in that he knowingly took steps with employees to conceal the outbreak.