Man indicted for extorting Paula Deen appears in court - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Man accused of extortion of Paula Deen appears in court

Posted: Updated:
Thomas George Paculis leaves federal court in downtown Savannah. Thomas George Paculis leaves federal court in downtown Savannah.
Thomas George Paculis Thomas George Paculis
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A man indicted on felony charges of extorting Paula Deen pleaded not guilty before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Chatham County on Tuesday morning.

Thomas George Paculis, 62, of Newfield, NY, who used to live in Savannah and Augusta, was arrested July 5 by FBI agents and deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff' Office in New York.

Federal charges were filed on June 24 in the Southern District of Georgia. It was filed the same day the details of Deen's video deposition in the harassment and discrimination lawsuit made headlines. 

Paculis sent an email and phone call to Deen's attorney asking for $250,000 in exchange for not disclosing "true and damning" statements that Deen made, according to an FBI news release.

Paculis is accused of indicating that the information he released "would bring hardship and financial ruin to Deen," according to the FBI.  

The charges can bring up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

The state appointed Paculis a lawyer because he could not afford one.

He is out on bail and must report to a probation officer as part of his release. He would have to post a $10,000 unsecured fee if he violates his bond.

He must surrender his passport, he cannot contact the victim and is restricted to the Northern U.S. District of New York and Chatham County and cannot have a firearm. He also may be subject to drug testing.

He has to contact his probation officer within 72 hours if he has an run-in with police officers. 

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Texas man's life celebrated in Lufkin Mural

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:49:08 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
    Durell Gray is one of a few people whose picture graces a wall in downtown Lufkin. His picture sits at the corner of Frank and First Street.So how did the now 86-year-old man get his picture painted on a wall scene by hundreds every day? It all started while Gray worked as a lineman for the Lufkin Conroe Telephone Company. He said one day he received a letter in the mail from his employer asking for his help."They contacted us asking us if any lineman had picture with their gear on," Gray sai...More >>
  • First solar panels installed in Nacogdoches

    First solar panels installed in Nacogdoches

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:17:15 GMT
    First solar panels installed on SFA campusFirst solar panels installed on SFA campus
    Perhaps it’s a bit ironic that it rains the day a solar power array, an arrangement of solar panels, is fully installed at Stephen F. Austin State University. Native Inc., the Austin based company doing the work isn’t worried. They know the sun will come out tomorrow or eventually. “The array will be the primary source and any surplus energy created by the array will back feed the grid,” explained Chris Renner, solar operation manager for Native Inc. The Ina Brundrett Conservation Education B...More >>
    Perhaps it’s a bit ironic that it rains the day a solar power array, an arrangement of solar panels, is fully installed at Stephen F. Austin State University. Native Inc., the Austin based company doing the work isn’t worried. They know the sun will come out tomorrow or eventually. “The array will be the primary source and any surplus energy created by the array will back feed the grid,” explained Chris Renner, solar operation manager for Native Inc. The Ina Brundrett Conservation Education B...More >>
  • Miss Kitty might just be Grumpy Cat's cousin

    Miss Kitty might just be Grumpy Cat's cousin

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:58:53 GMT
    This feline might just be Grumpy Cat's cousin. She purrs often but you probably won't catch Miss Kitty smiling.More >>
    ?This feline might just be Grumpy Cat's cousin. She purrs often but you probably won't catch Miss Kitty smiling.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
KTRE logo

KTRE

358 TV Road,
Pollok TX 75969

FCC Public File
publicfile@ktre.com
936-853-8639
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTRE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.