SAN JOSE, Calif. – A Nevada couple has pleaded guilty in a San Jose court to all charges related to planting a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili.
Anna Ayala (search), 39, and her husband, Jaime Placencia (search), 43, entered the pleas in Santa Clara County Superior Court. They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file a false claim and attempted grand theft, in addition to other charges.
Ayala originally claimed she found a finger in her bowl of chili at a Wendy's (search) restaurant in San Jose on March 22.
But in the following weeks, DNA evidence determined that the finger actually belonged to Placencia's coworker, and police arrested both Ayala and Placencia.
Authorities alleged the couple was seeking to win a large settlement from the Wendy's fast food chain by placing a portion of the finger in the chili.
"Thankfully, law enforcement thwarted their successful efforts at theft," said Deputy District Attorney David Boyd.
The Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's International Inc. claimed the scheme cost $2.5 million in lost sales because of bad publicity.
The pair is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 2. Ayala faces up to nine years and eight months, and Placencia faces up to 13 years in state prison.