Paula Deen Extorted: New York Man Arrested for Demanding $250,000 From Celebrity Chef

Jul 09, 2013 04:29 PM EDT | By Dina Exil

  • print
Paula Deen
Paula Deen announced plans to open a new restaurant in Tennessee. (Photo : Food Network)

A New York resident was arrested and charged with extorting money from celebrity chef Paula Deen in exchange for not releasing information on statements she allegedly made. 

Thomas George Paculis allegedly asked Deen's attorney for $250,000 to keep "true and damning" information from the media. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and local sheriff duties arrested Paculis, 62, in Newfield, N.Y., Friday morning. 

Like Us on Facebook

According to Reuters, Paculis approached Lisa Jackson, former manager to the Deen's restaurants Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House," claiming to have information that was "true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on its merit alone." 

Paculis allegedly sent an email to George Hodges, Deen's attorney, on June 24, several days after Deen's statements were made public. 

"I am about the go public with the statement refuting your client statements about using the 'N' word in her business practices at Lady and Son's," Paculis wrote according to the Huffington Post. "The statement are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it's merit alone."

Paculis mentioned his price for information and asked Hodge to contact him. 

Hodge contacted the FBI, which instructed Hodge to respond to Paculis and negotiation a reduction in payment from $250,000 to $200,000. The two exchanged several emails and phone calls, Reuters reported. 

Deen is being sued along with her brother, Bubba Hiers, by Jackson.The lawsuit alleges sexual harassment and a work environment rife with racial slurs.

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Jimmy Carr Launches New Stronger British Latte at Starbucks

Starbucks Race Together Campaign Tanks: Starbucks Baristas To Keep Race Out Of Coffee Cups

In a bold move, last week the coffee giant released a new campaign, Starbucks’ Race Together, in which baristas in United States venues were invited to start a conversation with clients about race in America – but it’s been a marketing disaster all the way through.

California Wines

California Wines: 31 Brands Of Cheap California Wines Loaded With Very High Levels of Toxic Arsenic?

California wines- Are you addicted to California wines? Wait until you read this! Some cheap California wines were found positive for inorganic arsenic that is believed to be lethal beyond allowable limits.

Dairy Queen Payment Systems Breached By Hackers

Dairy Queen Vanilla Ice Cream: FREE Cone Day On Dairy Queen’s 75th Anniversary!

The Minnesota-based company is turning 75 today, and they’re celebrating along with fans with a Free Cone Day, as Dairy Queen’s vanilla ice cream makes a full appearance all over the country, as the company also teams up with a big charity for the occasion.

Food Tech
Chef

The Top 10 Secret Weapon Ingredients from the Star Chefs

Just today, February 25, 2015, Yahoo! Food posts the secret weapon ingredients used by Star Chefs to achieve the most palatable dishes at home or in a restaurant. The said website revealed the top 10 magical ingredients that can turn home-cooked meals into top class restaurant tastes.

Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers

Next Glass App: The App That Chooses Wine And Beer You’ll Love!

For those who love to have a nice glass of wine or beer during the weekends - which is just about everyone or almost -, there's a new way to keep the guessing out of the way you choose what to drink: the Next Glass app chooses drinks according to what you love!

A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

U.S. Consumers, Ready To Accept Genetically Modified, Nanotech Products If It Is Healthy And Safe, New Survey Reveals

A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.

Real Time Analytics