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article imagePaula Deen extortion case: NY man changes plea to guilty

By Kirstin Stokes Smith     Aug 9, 2013 in World
Savannah - A New York man charged with attempting to extort money from Food Network star, Paula Deen, changed his plea from innocent to guilty today.
Thomas George Paculis was charged after he threatened to reveal damaging information about Deen if she refused to pay him $200,000, reports ABC News. Deen has publicly acknowledged her past use of racial slurs.
In a Savannah courtroom today, Paculis told a federal court judge that he "[tried] to take money from her," reports WRDW News.
One of Paculis' criminal counts was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. There were two charges against him. Court records filed last week show Paculis, 62, signed a plea agreement with prosecutors, reports Huffington Post.
Paculis now faces up to two years in prison as well as a maximum fine of $250,000. He has been permitted to remain free on a bond before his sentencing, which may take months, reports WRDW News.
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