SAN JOSE, Calif. – A man who says he helped Wendy's International Inc. unravel the scheme behind a fingertip slipped into a bowl of chili has a beef with the fast food chain. He wants the $100,000 reward the company offered.
Mike Casey runs an asphalt plant in Las Vegas that employed the man who lost the finger, and the husband of the woman who said she bit into the digit while eating at a Wendy's (search). Casey said he provided the tip that helped authorities uncover the scheme.
"I did what they wanted and they offered it, so I think I have it coming," Casey said.
Wendy's officials said Tuesday they would soon identify the tipster, but wouldn't say whether Casey would get the reward.
"The verdict has come down so we'll have finalized information this week and we'll be issuing the reward as quickly as possible," Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini said.
Anna Ayala (search), 39, and Jaime Placencia (search), 43, pleaded guilty Sept. 9 in Santa Clara County Superior Court to conspiring to file a false claim and attempted grand theft. Police said Placencia's co-worker lost the finger in an industrial accident.
Ayala said she 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 quickly spread through headlines around the world.
Wendy's set up a hot line and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the finger's owner. The Dublin, Ohio-based company said it lost $2.5 million from the bad publicity.