Paula Deen’s Accused Extortionist Has Reached A Plea Agreement
Finally! A little good news for Paula Deen (who has stayed conspicuously out of the spotlight these last few weeks).
Thomas George Paculis, the 62-year-old man accused of trying to extort $200,000 from Deen, has reached a plea deal to end his prosecution. The details of the plea weren’t made public.
Paculis was accused of contacting Deen’s lawyer Gary Hodges via email with threats of going public with damaging statements made by Deen if she didn’t pay him $250,000. The email said the statements would help Lisa Jackson’s case against Deen. Jackson is the woman suing Deen over a number of alleged bad business practices at her Savannah restaurant. It’s that case that has done the tremendous damage that we’ve seen to Deen’s reputation and business.
Paculis was arrested in New York after the FBI got involved and he was brought to Georgia, where he pleaded not guilty on July 16 to two counts of using interstate communications to try and commit extortion. He was allowed to return home, but there was supposed to be a change-of-plea hearing tomorrow.
In the heat of the controversial firestorm, Deen lost a lot of business partnerships over the accusations of harassment and discrimination at her restaurant. Here’s a breakdown to refresh your memory.