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Plea change scheduled in Paula Deen extortion case

MGN Online

MGN Online

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A New York man charged with trying to extort money from celebrity cook Paula Deen is scheduled to appear before a federal judge today to change his plea.

Thomas George Paculis was to appear this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Savannah, where he pleaded not guilty during his last hearing in July.

Court records filed last week say 62-year-old Paculis of Newfield, N.Y., has signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. But details have not been released.

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.


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