SAVANNAH, Ga. — The man accused of trying to extort $200,000 from embattled Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Thomas George Paculis, of Newfield, N.Y., was sentenced Monday and the Savannah Morning News reported he also was ordered to serve a year of supervised release.
In August, 62-year-old Paculis pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to make a deal with Deen’s attorney to sign a nondisclosure agreement after he threatened to publicly reveal damaging information about her.
Prosecutors dropped one of two charges in exchange for the plea.
Paculis’ threat was made as the celebrity chef lost major endorsements stemming from allegations of racial discrimination at her Savannah restaurant. Paculis said “some bad economic times” factored into his attempt.