Former CEO of Sunflower Farmers Market set to be sentenced in January in child prostitution case

Sentencing set in ex-CEO's prostitution case

BOULDER, Colo. -  

The former CEO of Boulder-based Sunflower Farmers Market is scheduled to be sentenced next month on charges stemming from his arrest for soliciting sex from a woman he believed to be 17 years old.

The Daily Camera reports Michael Gilliland was initially charged with a felony count of child prostitution, but he struck a plea deal in August and acknowledged a felony count of attempted pandering. He is set to appear in a Maricopa County, Ariz., courtroom Jan. 8.

Police arrested Gilliland at a Phoenix hotel in February 2011 as part of a sting operation in which an undercover officer posed as a 17-year-old prostitute. Court records say he met the "girl" online and agreed to pay her $100 for sex.

Gilliland resigned after his arrest.

Gilliland started the Sunflower chain in 2002 after co-founding Wild Oats Markets in 1987 and growing it from one Boulder store to a billion-dollar publicly traded enterprise with 115 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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