A Waterville man who sued General Mills, Inc. in September after he claimed he got sick from the paint on Betty Crocker measuring spoons was sentenced to over two years in prison on a different charge this week.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal ruled that Gregory Paul Violette, 64, had violated the conditions of his supervised release that had been ordered in 2002. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

“At sentencing, Judge Singal described the defendant’s ‘long series of deliberate falsehoods’ and ‘catch me if you can’ fraud schemes as ‘the most egregious case of deliberate violation of court orders’ and ‘callousness to the rules of our society’ that he had encountered in almost 20 years as a federal judge,” a news release Wednesday from the Maine district of the Department of Justice stated.

The terms of Violette’s supervised release required him to report “any financial gains” and put them toward the $400,000 restitution he was ordered to pay in 2002. It also prohibited him from “obtaining new credit without his probation officer’s permission” and violating state law, the news release said.

Violette violated the conditions by not reporting $10,000 he gained from a legal settlement, taking out a $150,000 mortgage without the probation officer’s approval and breaching Maine securities laws. The $10,000 settlement money came from Violette’s General Mills lawsuit, according to the Bangor Daily News. He initially had sought $250,000 in damages after he claimed that the paint from the Betty Crocker emblems on his measuring spoons fell into a coconut oil and peanut butter mixture he made, causing him to fall ill for three days and experience a decline in his mental health.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Moore did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the recent sentencing.

Violette has filed a number of suits in the past. On Aug. 8 he filed a complaint in the Waterville District Court against the founder of a Pennsylvania company, who was in charge of issuing refunds, after Violette requested a $99 membership fee be returned to him. Even after the refund was issued, he did not drop the case. He also sued a Florida company that he alleged had sent him a brochure and order form containing photos of nude people, which made him “very sick.”


Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @megrobbins

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