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Newfield man tried to bilk Paula Deen out of money

Newfield man tried to bilk Paula Deen out of money

Updated 12 p.m., Monday, July 8, 2013

More on the case involving a man arrested in Newfield who federal prosecutors say tried to swindle a quarter of a million dollars out of Paula Deen.

62-year-old Thomas George Paculis was arrested in Newfield Friday, where he was reportedly house-sitting.

Paculis e-mailed Deen’s attorney and spoke with him on the phone, asking for 250-thousand dollars.

In return, Paculis said he would keep quiet with “true and damning statements” about Deen, who was sued after racial and sexual discrimination accusations were made by a former general manager of one of her restaurants.

Court documents show Paculis allegedly called the attorney of that general manager, asking if he and client “wanted in.”

Paculis faces a court date next week on an extortion charge.

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