Paul Kruse Bio, Wiki
Paul Kruse is the former CEO of Blue Bell Creameries. He has been charged with conspiracy in connection to the deadly listeria outbreak in 2015 that led to three deaths. Kruse retired from his position in 2017 and was the third generation in his family to run the Blue Bell company.
Kruse’s age is unclear.
Paul Kruse Charged with Conspiracy for Listeria Outbreak
Former Blue Bell President and CEO Paul Kruse have been charged with conspiracy for the company’s handling for the listeria outbreak in 2015, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.
Paul Kruse and other executives are said to have known about unsanitary conditions at the company’s Brenham headquarters and did nothing to stop them, according to a 17-page indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Travis County.
#BREAKING: Former Blue Bell Ice Cream CEO Paul Kruse facing federal conspiracy charge related to 2015 listeria outbreak at company's facilities. Feds allege Kruse knew about unsanitary practices for nearly 5 years. Latest on @KPRC2 at 4. #hounews pic.twitter.com/fUjG3sRTCf
— Aaron Fernandez-Wische (@KPRC2Aaron) May 1, 2020
Kruse, who retired in February 2017, participated in a conspiracy to conceal “potential and/or confirmed listeria contamination in Blue Bell products from certain Blue Bell customers,” according to federal prosecutors.
Kruse is charged with wire fraud/attempted wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Those charges each hold a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
According to the federal charges, the goal “was to obtain money from Blue Bell’s customers by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”
The company suffered significant financial losses due to the listeria outbreak.
Kruse Retired from Blue Bell in 2017
In 2017, Kruse retired from his role as president and CEO of Blue Bell Creameries but would remain on the board, The Shelby Report noted. He had started working at Blue Bell in 1986 and was elected CEO and president in 2004.
Ricky Dickson was promoted to president in 2017 after Kruse stepped down. Dickson was the first person who wasn’t in the Kruse family to be president of Blue Bell in almost a century, The Eagle reported.
Paul Kruse told Houston History Magazine about his experiences growing up in the Blue Bell family. He said he’d go to Blue Bell with his dad and uncle to check on the plant every weekend. “We would get to stand on the conveyor belts but we couldn’t go into cold storage,” he said. “…Needless to say, we don’t allow barefoot kids in the plant anymore…
The whole family would go to the plant on Saturdays and wrap pieces of dry ice in the newspaper and then pack it into big green insulated Army bags along with packaged slices of ice cream. These went to Fort Hood in Killeen, and the ice cream was served to the troops.”
Kruse also told Houston History Magazine that his daughter works at the Blue Bell creamery, along with some cousins. Kruse said that he worked at Blue Bell initially while he was in high school and college, before returning after law school.
According to Paul Kruse’s bio, he graduated from Brenham High School and then Texas A&M University in 1977. According to Paul Kruse’s bio, he graduated from Brenham High School and then Texas A&M University in 1977.
Paul Kruse was the third generation in the Kruse family to manage Blue Bell, and his family has owned the Kruse Ranch in Washington County near Brenham for more than 100 years. Kruse’s grandfather, E.F. Kruse, took over operating the Blue Bell creamery in 1919, Texas A&M reported. E.F. Kruse’s sons, Ed and Howard Kruse, later joined in leadership roles. Howard Kruse once served as president of the company.
Jim Kruse, the son of former president Howard Kruse, was named company chairman in 2017 after Paul Kruse stepped down, The Shelby Report shared.