Thomas Paculis, the man who tried to extort money from Paula Deen has received sentencing. According to TMZ Thomas received sentencing on September 16. He is to serve two years in a Georgia prison. When he gets out, there is to be one year of supervised release and 40 hours of community service. He's also ordered to receive counseling on substance abuse.
On July 5, 2013, police arrested Thomas Paculis for trying to extort $200,000 from Paula Deen. Thomas accepted a plea bargain on July 31, 2013. The agreement was not disclosed to the public. The defense attorney, Richard Darden, and the chief assistant prosecutor of the US Attorney’s office in Savannah, James Durham, refused to give any details.
This incident with Thomas happened when Paula was in the middle of a lawsuit instigated by Lisa Jackson, for racial slurs, and her food empire was crumbling around her. Paula gave several tear-filled apologizes for saying the N-word word years ago to describe an African American man who held a gun to her head. In August, the judge dismissed all charges against Paula, but by then she had already lost a major chunk of her food empire.
Paula made her first public appearance in September at the Houston Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show. It was an emotional time for Paula as fans greeted Paula with cheers and a standing ovation.