Wild Oats grocery founder faces child prostitution charge

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The founder of two health-food supermarket chains was one of eight men arrested during a child prostitution sting in Phoenix.

Police say 52-year-old Michael Gilliland was arrested after arriving at a north Phoenix hotel to meet what he believed was an underage prostitute he met online.

Gilliland founded Wild Oats Markets in Boulder, Colo., in the 1980s and left the company about a decade ago. He then started Sunflower Farmers Markets, which has 32 stores across the Southwest. He remains CEO.

Gilliland was booked on a child prostitution charge Thursday and released on bond the following day.

He lives in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley. Calls to a listed number were unanswered Saturday. KPHO-TV in Phoenix says no one answered the door when a reporter seeking comment knocked.