62-year-old pleads guilty in Paula Deen extortion case
Thomas George Paculis
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
A New York man pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen.
Thomas George Paculis, 62, faces a maximum possible sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Court records filed last week say Paculis, of Newfield, N.Y., signed a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Authorities say Paculis contacted Deen's attorney threatening to reveal damaging statements by the former Food Network star unless she paid him $200,000. That happened after documents became public that showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.