Half of the reward offered by Wendy's will go to Mike Casey, president of Lamb Asphalt Maintenance. Casey called the "chili-finger hot line" in May when he realized that one of his workers, Brian Rossiter, had recently lost a fingertip in a workplace accident, and that another, Jaime Placencia, was married to the woman who claimed to have chomped into the bony tip two months earlier at a Wendy's in San Jose, Calif.
Rossiter said he had sold the digit to Placencia for $100, yet didn't know what his coworker intended to do with it. Rossiter cooperated when contacted by police and was poised to be the prosecution's star witness had the case gone to trial.
Anna Ayala, 39, and Jaime Placencia, 43, pleaded guilty in September to charges including attempted grand theft and making a fraudulent insurance claim, and they are set to be sentenced Nov. 2. The two face nine to 13 years in prison.
The recipient of the remaining $50,000 has asked to remain anonymous, citing fears for his or her personal safety, San Jose police Capt. David Keneller said.
An attorney representing Rossiter said his client had also been paid by Wendy's for helping reveal the extortion plot.
Wendy's has estimated the company lost millions of dollars when sales plummeted following news reports of Ayala's claim to have found the finger in March.