Paula Deen just can't catch a break at the moment; after seeing her celebrity chef empire crumble around her due to the details of a defamation-case against her being release to the public, Deen has also being getting blackmailed by a man who claims to possess some potentially ruinous information about her. The racist chef can put her mind a ease for now though because on Friday (July 5), the man in question was caught by FBI agents.

Paula Deen NBC
Deen's legal team handled the extortion attempt well

The 67-year-old man, named Thomas George Paculis, was taken into FBI custody following a short-lived investigation that began when Deen alerted authorities that she was being held at ransom towards the end of June - a few days after it became known that she and her brother, Bubba, had used violence, discrimination and racism against a former employee. According to a criminal complaint filed on behalf of Deen, Paculis got himself involved in the situation on June 24, when he sent an e-mail to Deen's lawyer threatening "to go public" with certain details about the chef's use of the "N word" at Lady and Sons.

"The statements are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it's merit alone," Paculis wrote in his email, according to the FBI. "As always ... there is a price for such confirmation. You can contact me here if you feel it is necessary, or I can go public and we will see what happens then."

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Under the guidance of FBI agents, Greg Hodges, Deen's lawyer, continued to exchanged e-mails and phone calls with Paculis and on June 26 he allegedly asked for a total of $250,000 - tax free - in exchange for not going to police, the criminal complaint says. Deen claims that she didn't recognize Paculis's name or face, based on photographs. Federal agents continued to work on the case and on Friday he was arrested in Ithaca, New York. No comment has come on Deen's behalf relating to the extortion case at this time, but she probably has other things to worry about.

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