62-year-old pleads guilty in Paula Deen extortion case - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

62-year-old pleads guilty in Paula Deen extortion case

Thomas George Paculis Thomas George Paculis

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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