Chef Charged in Paula Dean Extortion Strikes Plea Deal

Published:4:59 pm EDT, August 5, 2013| Updated:4:59 pm EDT, August 5, 2013|
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Thomas Paculis Paula Deen Racist N Work Plea Agreement Extortion

The man accused of trying to extort money from embattled TV chef Paula Deen has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors over his charges of attempted blackmail, reports The Associated Press.

Officials are refusing to comment on the details of the case. Paculis was arrested in July after he began contacting Paula Deen's lawyers demanding they pay him $200,000 (he originally asked for $250,000). Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Paculis had been living in upstate New York when he made the demands. Paculis later told Deen's lawyers that he didn't have a car or any idea how he was going to collect the money.

Thomas George Paculis Paul Deen Extortion Racisim

Deen's lawyer, Greg Hodges, contacted the FBI as soon as he received the first email (above) from Paculis. Since his original arrest, Paculis has been telling friends that he is innocent of the charges, reports Syracuse.com. They allege in an email to friends he wrote:

To all my friends ... Please don't believe everything you have or about to read on what has been said in the media about me until you know the full story, there is always two sides to every coin as well as every story ... this has gotten way out of hand.

Read the full criminal complaint here:

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