SAN JOSE, Calif. – A Nevada couple pleaded guilty Friday to all charges related to planting a human finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili in a scheme to extort money from the fast food restaurant chain.
Anna Ayala, 39, and Jaime Placencia, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiring to file a false claim and attempted grand theft in a scheme that Wendy’s International claimed cost it $2.5 million in lost sales because of bad publicity.
“Thankfully, law enforcement thwarted their successful efforts at theft,” said Deputy District Attorney David Boyd.
Ayala’s attorney, Rick Ehler, said she was truly remorseful.
Ayala claimed to have found the fingertip March 22 while eating chili with her family at a Wendy’s in San Jose. Authorities said they believed it was a hoax, but the story of the tasteless finger food quickly circled the globe and became fodder for late-night comedy.
A search for the finger’s owner eventually led to one of Placencia’s co-workers, who lost it in an industrial accident in Las Vegas, police said.
Ayala was arrested in April in her suburban Las Vegas home.