updated 6/29/2005 11:34:43 AM ET 2005-06-29T15:34:43

A court appearance comes today for the two people accused of planting a finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili.

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Anna Ayala and her husband Jaime Placencia are scheduled to enter pleas in a California courtroom on conspiracy and other charges. The two are accused of trying to extort money from the fast-food chain.

Placencia, 43, is charged with conspiracy to file a false charge and attempted grand theft with excessive damages, meaning he sought to extract a large amount of money from Wendy’s, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

Placencia’s 39-year-old wife, Ayala, is jailed on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted grand theft and grand theft. If convicted of all three, she could face nearly 10 years in prison and might have to reimburse Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s, which claims to have lost at least $2.5 million in sales because of bad publicity.

Ayala told police she discovered the fingertip in March in a Wendy’s in San Jose, Calif. Investigators say the man who lost the fingertip in an accident last year gave it to Placencia to pay off a debt. Wendy’s claims to have lost over $2 million in business due to bad publicity.

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